New Year's Day

clock, streamersNew Year's Day is a holiday of hope, one with optimistic expectations for a year filled with prosperity, love, and good health. It's customary to spend the day with family or friends and relish a day off from work or school.

If you welcomed in the New Year at the stroke of midnight, you may want to slow things down a bit and get a little bit of R & R.  If you slept through the changing of the year, you'll probably be up for some New Year's festivities, complete with food and wine.

Party Planning

A party is a social gathering to celebrate an achievement or common pleasure. When planning your get-together, you will need three things to make it a rip-roaring good time; guests, food, and entertainment. How many people will show up and if they are hung-over may factor into your chances for success so it may be a good idea to see what else is going on the night before to help you determine when to hold your party and who to invite.

If things aren't looking too bright, consider having it the following weekend, after everyone has a chance to recover and re-group. January can be a really dull month and most people will welcome an event taking place after the holidays when things slow down. Call it what you want. A New Year's party is certainly appropriate but a "resolution" party is unique.

Jumping on the "resolutions" theme, you could have this party be the last shindig before everyone buckles down and begins working on their New Year's resolutions. Or, hold a party that will cater to those whose resolutions are already "in progress" by providing healthy food, non-alcoholic beverages, and tobacco gum. Keep temptations out of the way and they'll love you for it.

Food/Drink

Almost anything goes here but it's probably a good idea to keep it more on the simple side. Most people have probably been eating too much for a couple of weeks and are ready for something on the light side. Depending on your culture, you may already have a traditional food in mind or wish to borrow from another culture.

A little southern superstition has it that black-eyed peas bring good luck and cornbread promotes wealth. Many cultures believe that food shaped in a full circle, or ring represents good luck. Pork, cabbage, and cooked greens all promote prosperity. If this all is a bit too much, consider traditional ham and sweet potatoes with a few munchies and call it good.

Unless you wish to stay away from alcohol, offer a symbolic glass of wine to guests so that they can make a toast for a successful new year. Also, you don't have to present a fully-stocked bar but it will help to provide something that the majority like to drink, such as beer and wine coolers. Of course, you will need to provide non-alcoholic beverages for minors and those who prefer soft drinks.

Entertainment

New Year's Day is the last in a string of holidays and many people will be winding down and preparing to go back to work or school. It's also a great holiday for the guys because there are football games to watch on T.V. If they're football fans, they may not be motivated to do much else. There, you have built-in entertainment but not everyone will want to sit around and watch bowl games.

If there's an important game on, you can make this the center of your attention and still have other things to do. Perhaps watching a movie, playing cards or a board game in another room, or occupying the children with coloring pages and puzzles. If you're not sure what to offer, ask friends in advance and they may have some ideas for additional activities as well as menu suggestions.