New Year’s Eve around the world


Check out Meredith on CBS 2!

Meredith shared these tips and more with CBS Channel 2’s Don Schwenneker on Dec. 21. Click to watch the full segment.

New Year’s Eve can be fun for everyone, not just champagne-sipping, midnight-celebrating adults. Our family has enjoyed this “round the globe” New Year’s several times with our friends, and it’s always a hit with everyone.

Every hour or so we ring a bell and give clues about what countries were yelling “Happy New Year!” at that moment. Big fun. And the kids got to make a lot of noise, which is always a big winner for the 12-and-under set.

If you want to see how to make those spiffy hats I showed today, pop into one of the Paper Source stores around Chicagoland, or visit their site at for how-to instructions.

Coffee Can Homemade Ice Cream



  • (1) can with lid
  • (1) 3-lb. coffee can with lid
  • 1 pint half-and-half (milk can be used instead)
  • 1 egg, beaten (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup, or 1/4 cup of strawberries


Add all of the above ingredients to the can and mix well. Put the lid on the coffee can and secure with duct tape. Place the 1-lb. coffee can into the 3-lb. coffee can. Surround with crushed ice and rock salt and place the lid onto the 3 pound coffee can.

Have your kids sit on the ground and roll back and forth three to four feet apart. Roll for eight to 10 minutes. Check to see if the ice cream is hard; if it isn’t, replace the lid, add more ice and rock salt. Roll for another eight minutes. Remove the lid to the 1-lb. can and serve in bowls.

Serves 4-6 people.

And the water bottle noise makers are seriously a snap to create. Reuse the tissue paper from holiday gifts and any size plastic water bottle. Simply paint slightly watered down glue onto the bottle, slap on a small piece of ripped tissue paper, go over top of the tissue once more, and let it dry. You can add ribbons around the lid for extra flair.

Oh, and let’s not forget the “Til Next Year Time Capsules.” I recycled deli counter containers for mine, but you can use washed-out tin cans or other small plastic containers. Have the kids decorate their capsule with things that represent them and place inside the following items: A list of five favorite things (book, school subject, toy, food, friend etc.), a photo or self-drawn portrait, three wishes for the next year, and possibly a small trinket or object that represents them right now. Seal them up with tape, wrap in a plastic bag, and bury them somewhere you won’t stumble on them: in the backyard, under your bed or high up on a garage shelf. (“Burying” my kids’ time capsules at the bottom of my extra-room closet will ensure they won’t be discovered for a whole year.)

Have fun this New Year’s Eve and make some noise for me!


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