Our readers share their families' favorite New Year's traditions!

Photograph By Aaron Dyer

1. Remember what you're thankful for

"On January 1, my family starts a Gratitude Jar. We jot down what we're grateful for and drop the notes in all year long. On New Year's Eve we open the jar and read the notes."

—Martha Browning, Westchester, California

2. Trim a tree

"We decorate a 'New Year's Tree' with horns, party hats, and balloons!" —Kathi Krebs, Orcutt, California

3. Start the year with kindness

"My kids and I choose a Person of the Year to do special things for each month. It might be a friend with a new baby, someone struggling with an illness, or an elderly family member. We send letters, bake them cookies, and take them meals." —Miriam Doughty, Fairview, North Carolina

Put Some Pop Into Your Countdown

4. Put some pop into your countdown

"My husband and I write activities ("play a board game") on slips of paper, then tuck them inside balloons. We label one balloon for each hour from 7 p.m. to midnight. At the appointed time, the kids pop the balloon and we spend that hour doing the activity." —Melanie Colosimo, Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania

5. Fill out a questionnaire

"Everyone in my family completes a survey. Topics range from 'What is your favorite food?' to 'What are your goals for the coming year?' I save the surveys, and we revisit them the next year." —Nisa Adkins, Lavalette, West Virginia 

6. Plan for fun

"Instead of resolutions, we make a family fun to-do list of activities we'd like to do together that year. Whenever we have some family time, we try something on our list." —Cheryl Hullihen,Vineland, New Jersey 



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