It’s New Year’s Eve Somewhere…Celebrate Early!

Boy celebrating new year's eveOn New Year’s Eve, my 13-year old son REALLY wanted to ring in the New Year and watch the ball drop in Times Square on the TV – particularly because the year before, while visiting my husband’s parents in Arizona, we lost track of the time difference and completely MISSED midnight on the East Coast – ball drop and all.

So that was a fine plan, except for the fact that we were having friends over – a couple who have a younger boy with ADHD and Asperger’s – and he probably wasn’t going to be able to manage well until midnight, especially as his medication wore off.

My solution was to arrange for us to celebrate New Year’s Eve twice – once at the regular time for our family and once earlier with our friends. But I didn’t want this plan to seem too contrived. My friend’s son is 9 years old and very bright, so I needed a context for this earlier celebration. So, what did I come up with???…..Greenland! We celebrated New Year’s Eve along with the residents of the capital of Greenland – Nuuk (or Gothåb, the Danish name), which is two hours earlier than Eastern Standard Time (e.g. their midnight was our 10pm). To build further credibility for this plan, I shot my girlfriend a text and said that we should all identify some fun facts or trivia about our celebratory focus, especially if this appealed to her son. We had NO idea what we were creating….

It turns out that this was right up the little guy’s alley. He spent most of the day on the internet (thanks Wikipedia!) and even learned how to use Excel (did I mention he is super bright??). And after an awesome dinner, we ended up playing a Jeopardy-style Greenland trivia game with categories and point levels associated with the difficulty of the question!

A few of the things we learned:

  • Nuuk means “cape” in Greenlandic because it is positioned at the end of a fjord – and is the world’s northernmost capital city
  • Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark – and is the world’s largest island
  • Greenland’s parliament is called Inatsisartut – and is located in Nuuk
  • The economy of Nuuk is focused on fishing and mining of zinc and gold

This might not sound like the most exciting activity for a New Year’s Eve get-together….but since we divided into girl/boy teams (girls won, of course!) – and the adults had the benefit of a little bubbly – it was really a hoot. Plus it addressed the needs of our younger participants – even those with special needs. Depending on where you live, you may have a lot more choices for locations to focus an early New Year’s Eve celebration on – here’s a mom blog that gives other exotic locations to set your celebration to – but either way, I would highly recommend it for next December 31st.

About the Author

Audra is an experienced pharmaceutical marketing professional, aspiring writer, and mother of Elliott, a high-spirited twenty-year old. Frequently tired but never bored, she has a strong interest in public health fostered by numerous years implementing global oncology education programs as well as by her twenty-year crazy (wild? amazing?) adventure in parenting. She recently earned a Masters in Public Health to augment her expertise in health policy and health promotion. Audra is a founding member of the PedSafe Team


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