If you have the kids on New Year’s Eve, plan a kids party at your house or attend one somewhere else.
Parents often fight so aggressively over who has the children for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that they forget the value of having the children on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. If you have the children on New Year’s Eve this year, get them involved early in planning a New Year’s Eve party.
For young children, this may involve arts and crafts. Get them to cut out the numbers 2-0-1-7 and hang them on the doors and the refrigerator. Get them to design “countdown clocks” with moving hands that are manually adjusted each hour as the New Year draws closer. Search the house for odds and ends that might serve as makeshift noisemakers.
For older children, you may want to get a disc jockey. Many DJ companies have a band of traveling DJs who work New Year’s Eve. If other parents are in the same position, you may wish to organize a New Years Eve party for all of the pre-teens and teenagers in the neighborhood.
Organizing such a party may serve to keep the kids out of trouble, and will make the passage into 2017 an exciting and memorable one. Perhaps more strategically, it will give the kids a favorable memory of your house — tightening the connection with your household and your neighborhood. It may introduce the children to new experiences, new neighborhood friends, and a new level of closeness with you — all useful in an ongoing child custody case.