New Years Day

Spend It With Family - Make It Special

“Many people look forward to New Years Day for a new start on old habits.” ~Author Unknown

Or so it seems to go. I never make New Year's resolutions. Instead, my husband and I use the first day of the New Year to quietly celebrate with family and plan ONE THING we want to do or accomplish during the new year.

New Year's Eve is when most of us celebrate the coming of the New Year with friends and family and food. So what is left for the first day of the New Year?

New Years Day

My husband and I get up early because I like see the sun come up on New Year's Day. For me that is the real beginning of the New Year. It is something my husband enjoys as well, probably because I make him a great Bloody Mary.

The biggest problem for us with starting the New Year this way is that we live in Western Washington (USA) so we may not see the sun, only the dawn. The sky is frequently overcast. (Don't tell anyone!)   ;-)

Even if I have hosted a New Years Eve Party, I often turn right around and invite some family members to my house on New Year's Day.

In fact, while my husband finishes cleaning the house from the previous night's party, I go to my freezer and take out some Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage Gravy I prepared a couple days previously. I am easily able to reheat the sausage gravy and biscuits before my extended family members arrive.

Another favorite early morning or even lunch item is Potato Pie. This IS a recipe for you to try - sounds a little "funny," I suppose, but it is really wonderful and it can be made ahead and is really easy to serve.

The TV is usually on early, usually with the Tournament of Roses parade or a football game or both (the guys work the remote control to death).

Once the biscuits and gravy are devoured, and with the football fanatics glued to the TV, my sisters and sisters-in-law and I clean up the kitchen and then prepare for serving a variety of munchies and easy to serve foods.

                                  (1890 Rose Parade Winning Float)

A typical afternoon-evening menu on New Years Day at my house is simple with easy to serve foods. TV trays, paper plates, plastic bowls and plastic cups are the order of the day.

My relatives bring their offerings. Sometimes its Chicken Wings, sometimes a homemade pop-in-the-oven pizza, sometimes Fried Mozzarella Cheese with Marinara Sauce, Broiled Feta Cheese On Artisan Bread (ready to go into the oven), a salad, a special bay shrimp dip to go with artisan bread and chips; a vegetable, fruit and cheese platter with yet another dip to sample.

One of the favorite items to have on this football-watching day, in fact now a tradition for us, is Three Bean Enchilada Chili. Into a large crock pot it goes for anyone to help themselves to throughout the day.

The Mexican-Style Layer Bean Dip is another, always popular, appetizer on New Years Day - or anytime!

Having mentioned these two items as being welcomed ones, I will also remind you not to serve both on the same day - for obvious reasons. ;-)

I also use any food items I have left over from the night before if they are still fresh enough and appropriate for the day.

Beverages? Of course. But after a New Year's Eve celebration, I tone it way down.

I am fortunate to have an outside deck right off my kitchen and dining room. My husband sets up a large, ice-filled cooler with plenty of beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages stored in the cooler. Everyone knows to help themselves.

And, naturally, I always have fresh coffee brewing throughout the day and into the evening.

And gradually, with appreciated food and favorite teams winning football games, the first day of the year begins to draw to a close.

I count my blessings: a happy family and extended family, a good start to a new year, and continued life.

And finally, the best part of the evening - everyone has returned home - and my husband and I are once again alone.

We exchange our wish lists (not resolutions). We have previously asked each other to write down 3 ideas each would like to pursue (accomplish) during the year, if money, time and circumstances allow.

Only one is mutually selected. For example, we like to travel when we can so one New Years Day we both had listed an Alaskan Cruise. We did it that year. Another time we discovered we both listed a "re-do" of our landscaping. This, too, we accomplished.

My husband and I understand each other and our circumstances. It is no wonder our lists are often similar - but it is exciting to see us "together," on the same page and knowing we are working on the same goals. No resolutions. We work on what we want to do for each other. How blessed we are.

So when is the next time my family and I have a get-together? Well, for those in my family who insist on making New Years Resolutions, we get together on or around mid January for the - Ditch New Years Resolution Day.

The way we figure it, if there is a day to celebrate New Years and the resolutions many of us make, then we should have a day dedicated to burying those resolutions - purging the guilt from those who have already broken them.

Enjoy New Years Day and the company of those you share it with!


“Many years ago I resolved never to bother with New Year's resolutions, and I've stuck with it ever since.”

Dave Beard