An invitation for a local New Year’s Eve party has been sitting on our counter for weeks. It’s bright. Sequiny. Festive.

“Dress up!” it says, “Ring in the New Year with a kid-free night!” It sounds wonderful, and heaven knows the two of us are due for an outing . . . but I don’t wanna go. 

So, honey? Let’s stay home for New Year’s Eve.

We’ve done the wild nights, the crowded social scene, the New Year’s Eves that lasted much, much later than midnight. But like so many other things, that version of us lived a lifetime ago.

And now? There’s nowhere else I’d rather spend the most magical night of the year than at home with you and the little people who have brought so much love to our lives. 

We both know how quickly time is passing; our babies are growing up before our eyes. When the next new decade rolls around, chances are they’ll be asking to spend the evening with friends rather than us—so let’s milk this one for everything it’s worth.

Let’s play “Guess Who” and “Candy Land” while we snack on leftover Christmas cookies. Let’s take pictures as our kids parade around the house in their sparkly top hats and make way too much noise with those plastic kazoos I found in the dollar aisle. Let’s ignore the mess when they pull the string on their confetti poppers, and focus on the joy on their faces instead.

Let’s not think of our to-do lists, but rather focus on the moments we’re living—the ones we’ll never get back again.

Let’s eat a homemade dinner and make sparkling cider toasts. Let’s put on our comfiest cozies and pile onto the couch to watch countdowns from New Year’s Eves past on YouTube. Let’s giggle as the kids toss balloons from the top of the staircase and shout “Happy New Year” again and again and again. Let’s watch the ball drop in Times Square at 10 o’clock our time, then fall asleep three minutes in to some random show on Netflix.

Let’s wake up (too early) on January 1st to fill cereal bowls and turn on cartoons, just as we do every other morning. Let’s exchange mimosa kisses and smile about the chaos of this life.

Let’s sit back and appreciate this life we’ve built together, and dream big dreams for where it will take us next.

Then as a family, let’s step into the next 365 days of our lives.

No sparkly dress, champagne toast, or live band could ever compare to that.

Honey, let’s stay home for New Year’s Eve. It’s going to be magical.

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Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward