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And another year is gone! We can’t stop time but surely we can relive some moments, cherish some memories and learn from others. A couple of years ago, we started a simple New Year’s Eve tradition in our house – the Great Annual Round-up of all things good and bad in the year gone by. As we go through all we did month by month, we are struck by how much we accomplished, how much we celebrated and how much is still to be done. We all enjoy it thoroughly and are looking forward to the 2014 edition in a few hours from now. This year is bigger and better because we have roped in the whole world! Read on to get a feel of our Yearender traditions and create some of your own.
Remember the time …
We travelled, we met old friends, caught up with family, did crazy things together, performed on stage, ate awesome stuff, saw beautiful sights and thanks to the marvel (and nuisance) of our phone cameras, we have a snapshot of almost everything. I have organized our pictures according to when they were clicked and for a yearly roundup, that serves as our starting point. We go through our pictures of the entire year and have fun rekindling happy memories. Oh, the stories that come out….! This time I also plan to keep sorting out the best of each month’s pictures into a separate folder and then create a photobook for 2014. That’s the plan, at least.
The World this Year
The one time when I find newspapers or news magazines really interesting is when they do their own roundups of events of the year. And this year I plan to make our family Yearender more global by including some of the interesting happenings around the world. Conflict, crisis and natural disasters may have dominated the newspapers this year but there were many events that impacted children in 2014. Not all positively so, like the Peshawar tragedy that shook the entire world, including our little ones. It is important to talk out the negatives with our kids just as we love rejoicing the positives, as our blogger Tanushree Singh explains so beautifully in her blog, ‘Terror Aftermath- building resilience in children’. There was much to rejoice this year, closer home that too – the successful launch of the Mars Orbiter for one. That one iconic picture, of delighted Kanjeevaram clad, gajra wearing women scientists, can launch a thousand lessons all by itself. Lessons about women empowerment, about breaking stereotypes, tradition and progress and so on. There was more to celebrate with the Nobel Peace Prize for this year being awarded jointly to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education." Here are two inspirational personalities that our children should certainly know about. We have a new government in power and that’s newsy enough for children to have understood and discussed among themselves too.
On the lighter side, I know we will go over the Ice Bucket Challenge that converted into the Rice Bucket Challenge. My children had pledged an amount from their savings towards buying stationery for a school for the underprivileged and perhaps we will set a target for 2015 too. I will definitely bring up Alia Bhatt and her sporting, hilarious comeback to people calling her dumb. Yes, that’s a huge lesson - don’t get bullied. Sit up, smile and fight back in the most effective way possible. I’m sure my kids will have a list of their own to go over too!
Music and movies of the year
I admit this is a ploy to get my younger daughter to realize that Frozen is so ‘last season’ and Let it Go is not a legitimate entry on the 2014 lists. Also, since I don’t have my music organized as well as my photographs I think it would be a great opportunity to make playlists of our favourites of 2014 and keep them ready for our car rides.
Things that made me smile…
When my children were younger and bedtime was a struggle, we would sometimes snuggle together and spend a few minutes going over the day and recount the two best things that happened to each one of us and maybe even the not-so-good stuff. It was a great activity for settling them down and also made them feel good about the day that went and make plans for the next. Maybe this year I can extend that to the whole year. That’s a whole lot of reminiscing and memory jerking but hopefully, with our photographs to give us a cue, we should manage.
Create a Memory Jar
This one is an activity that will make this entire exercise so much easier next year. I read an interesting tip somewhere about creating a memory jar as you go through the year. Keep scribbling notes whenever something interesting happens and put them into a box or jar and forget about it. This is stuff your photographs did capture and can include memorabilia like tickets to a good movie or play, cards, bills etc. Whether you then want to create a scrapbook of all this or just use it as a prop at your 2015 Yearender is entirely up to you.
Technically New Year Resolutions should also be part of a Yearender activity, but for some reason my children have a “No reservations” policy. You can read about that and our last year’s Maggi-in-Bed-Fleece-Pajama New Year Party in my blogpost “Here’s to a no-pressure New Year”
Wishing everyone a fantastic ride down memories of 2014 and an even more fantastic 2015!