New Year’s Traditions: Passing Down My Favorite Childhood Traditions to My Kids


Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, but ringing in the New Year a week later was always fun for a kid who gets to stay up way past bedtime. I have such wonderful childhood memories of shouting down the countdown with my family and partaking in other fun activities. I am Filipino American and most of the traditions we have have been passed down from our families in the Philippines. When I had children of my own, I didn’t sit down and make a list of which holiday traditions I wanted to pass down to them. I let things happen organically, and some things we do, and others we don’t. 

After I grew up but before having kids, my New Year’s Eve was usually spent out at a party or on vacation to different places like New York or Las Vegas. My friends and I would sip on champagne and dance well until the New Year. After having kids, I knew I wanted to keep it simple and stay home like we would when I was a kid. These are the 5 traditions I have kept and partake in with my kids:

  1. Have 12 different types of fruit in a fruit basket ready for the new year. This is a tradition that my parents do, that their parents did and most of my family still does. The 12 different fruits represent each month, hoping for a bountiful supply of food all year long. 
  2. Hang grapes above our front door. Since we already have grapes as one of our 12 fruits, we take a small bunch and nail it directly above the inside of our entry way. This is to symbolize wealth, prosperity and abundance being welcomed into the house.
  3. Everybody wears predominantly red and/or something with polka dots. Red is the color of good luck and the polka dots are believed to bring in wealth and good luck. Most of the time we are in pajamas and as long as it has any kind of red in it and some kind of circle, then it works for me! For example: Red pepperoni’s on pizza pajamas. Ha!
  4. When the countdown gets to 1, all of the kids jump up and down. This is so they will grow and get taller in the new year. 
  5. The last thing we do also happens right at midnight. We have noisemakers or things that make noise. We have been known to use vitamin or medicine bottles when maracas or other noisemakers aren’t available. Once we hit midnight, everyone makes a lot of noise and shakes whatever “instrument” they were given in order to scare away any evil spirits.


Sometimes we spend New Year’s Eve with family or friends and sometimes we stay home just the five of us. Regardless of where we are, we have our basket of fruit and polka dot outfits ready to ring in the New Year! How do you celebrate the New Year? Do you have any fun traditions that you do? Let me know about it, I love hearing about other people’s traditions and how different cultures celebrate!






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