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Happy New Year!

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For many years, this gal’s New Year’s Eve meant attending a fancy gala in a fancy downtown hotel and dancing the night away followed by a groggy morning breakfast and a pretty unproductive New Year’s Day. It was a really great time.  Dressing up in a sparkly dress, eating fancy food and drinking fancy champagne with lots of fun people.

These days, however, my New Year’s tradition has changed. I am at home- and instead of a sparkly evening gown, my attire is a pair of comfy sweats and some slippers.  Instead of hanging out with other adults with an open bar, I am hanging with a mostly younger crowd which consists of family and extended family where the only beer is rootbeer and the midnight toast is with a fine sparkling cider. Some years we order our favorite pizza delivery and some years we make our own.  The highlight of the evening is an epic cupcake decorating contest where contestants compete for the title of “New Year’s Eve Cupcake Champion” of the  current year that is soon to end. This year was fraught with controversy:  The 19 year old decorating diva who was certain that she would win was disappointed to learn that an 11 year old rookie, was crowned the champion. The diva did not take the news well and proceeded to smash a decorated cupcake in the face of the new champion.  Of course, what followed was pure mayhem and more fun than any fancy shmancy gala. The night is then capped off with watching the ball drop in NYC complete with pop-its and sparklers on the back porch.

The next morning we all wake up and moan and groan our way out the door to the Resolution Run 5K and Polar Bear Dive. This is a family tradition and requirement. Some in the family are more willing than others, but after the deed is done, everyone is happy.

Running three + miles and then jumping into a freezing lake may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but let me tell you this- it’s a great way to start your New Year! You are probably wondering why anyone would do such a thing, but those who do it know that it is a superb way to get your New Year going in the right direction. Think of all those really difficult New Year’s resolutions that are made that require lots of time and giving up the things you really like. How about a resolution to do things that are difficult?  Well… jumping into a freezing lake is difficult all right, but you know what else it is?  It’s fun! And it’s its over really fast! Done! Check a resolution off your list before noon! And when you are done, you feel incredible! It’s an amazing way to start the new year and a wonderful tradition that our family has been participating in for many years now and hopefully will be for many more.

After freezing our butts off, next stop is usually Dick’s Drive-In for some greasy fries and then home a New Year’s Day nap.  At this point all is right with the world.

I’m sure that I will attend another fancy gala in the future and may even sleep until noon the next day, but for now our current New Year tradition is just perfect.

And yes, Dick’s Drive-In fries are certainly gourmet!

Ciao for now

Olive

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