Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Year's Traditions

I’ve always wanted to write a Christmas story filled with caroling, sleigh rides, and snow—the fluffy kind that doesn’t disrupt traffic or cause accidents. Christmas is my favorite time because of the rich traditions, nostalgic memories, and fantastic food.

Here are a few pictures of the Newport, Rhode Island mansions at Christmas. These ‘cottages’ are part of the Gilded Age setting of my Ladies of Summerhill series. They are the Breakers, the Marble House and the Elms.

But of course Christmas isn’t the only holiday we writers can use for local color. Different countries and even different sections of the United States have customs and foods that we can incorporate into our books. Many holidays have their own specific menus. Think Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, the fourth of July, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day.

Instead of setting a novel around one of the more popular holidays, look for one that’s usually ignored, at least in books. New Year’s Eve (my husband’s birthday) is really fun to celebrate, but how about New Year’s Day? At first I couldn’t think of many ways we celebrate the first day of the year, but actually we have lots of traditions.

The song, “Auld Lang Syne,” is sung in English-speaking countries around the world on the stroke of midnight. It’s often followed by a toast. More about that later.

How about making resolutions? We’re usually so good at writing a list, but maybe not so faithful at following through. I speak for myself, of course. Not anyone else. Making resolutions dates back to the early Babylonians. Their most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment. This might apply to Mary’s or Pam’s husbands, but not to everyone’s. Some of us might decide to lose weight. Let’s move right along and not berate ourselves over broken resolutions. We can always make them again this year and this time keep our promises to ourselves.

Anybody watch the Tournament of Roses Parade on TV or in person? It goes back to 1886. Later the Rose Bowl football games were played as part of the Tournament of Roses. There are always plenty of televised football games on New Year’s Day and a lot of TV sets all over the country are tuned in. Personally, I’d rather read a good book than go to a football party. But that’s just me.

It’s been a long held belief (superstition) that a person could affect their luck during the coming year by what they did or ate on January 1st. So people often like to celebrate the beginning of the new year in the company of family and friends. It’s an old belief that the first visitor on New Year’s Day would bring either good or bad luck the rest of the year. It was considered extremely lucky—at least for a lady—if the first visitor happened to be a tall dark-haired man. I can see a romance novel forming!

New Year’s foods were also thought to bring luck. Many cultures thought that anything in the shape of a ring was good luck because it symbolized ‘coming full circle.’ The Dutch, for example, believed that eating donuts would bring good fortune. Don’t I wish! It’s worth a try, whether you believe in luck or not.

Many southerners eat black-eyed peas accompanied by either hog jowls or ham on New Year’s Day. The hog, and the meat of the hog, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Many people consume rice or cabbage which are also ‘good luck’ foods. Cabbage leaves are thought to be a sign of prosperity because they represent paper currency. To me that’s a real stretch.

A toast at midnight to ring in the new year is an old tradition which can be traced back to the ancient Romans and Greeks. They’d pour wine from a common pitcher. The host would drink first to ensure the wine was free of poison. Poisoning was a common way to kill your enemies back in the day. A square of toast would be floated in the wine bowl and then eaten by the last person to drink. The bread was added to absorb the extra acidity of the wine in order to make it more palatable. Later on, the act of drinking in unison came known as a toast, from the act of ‘toasting’ or putting toast in the wine.

So, I think I’ll research a holiday and include it in a book. Do you have a favorite holiday you’d like to write about? Anyone have a favorite custom, tradition or special food for New Year’s Day?

I’m giving away a copy of Love by the Book. If you’d like to be included in the drawing, please leave your e-mail.

I know I’m a few days earlier, but I’d like to wish each and every one of you a very blessed and happy new year!


Helen Gray said...

Coffee is ready!

My mother used to always serve black eyed peas and saurkraut on New Year's Eve. I didn't like black eyed peas then, and I still don't. :)

My only resolution for the new year is to move forward toward my writing goals.


Virginia said...

What a fun post! I love trivia. I finished a Christmas book a few months ago, but it was set in LA, so there was no snow. It was sort of the opposite idea to the Christmas-y stories... although I DO love snow and sligh bells, etc.!

My kids and I sang 'Good King Wenceslaus' today, it's a tradition because the miracles observed with St. Wenceslaus happened on the 'feast of Stephen', which is today! I always loved that carol and I have a picture of his statue in the Wenceslaus square in Prague.

Somehow I don't think a book would benefit from being written around St. Stephen's feast day... Unless you were writing in the Roman era... Where's Vince when we need him?? :D

Abbi Hart (gatorade635) said...

We always have a New Years Pretzel for our New Years Eve party. It's like a Cinnamon roll in the shape of a large pretzel covered with homemade icing. It's pretty good.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh my stars, this just flooded me with thoughts of what I can add to Katie and the Preacher.


And what a great brain-starter this post is, C. I think it's your best ever, or at least it rang a bunch of bells with me because quaint traditions are so small-town friendly. Remember the kudzu festival in Karen White's Falling Home????

Watermelon wine?

We have apple fests, cabbage fests, maple fests....

Oh, Cara, thank you THIS MUCH for reminding me and sending my holiday brain into fun possibilities. I love you!

And I'm leaving you guys straight up breakfast. Enough with holiday butters/creams/carbs.

Eggs. Bacon. Ham. Wheat toast. White toast. No juice, it's filled with unneeded calories, I brought a bottle of vitamins instead. Helen's coffee. Cooler of cokes, (in the Southern sense) diet and regular.

Iced tea coming later.

I'm ready to get back in the GROOVE.

Helen W said...

I can't recall doing anything special on New Years Day growing up ... usually just a nice sleep in! As adults we've sometimes had a lunch with family or friends we weren't able to catch up with over Christmas.


pol said...

Happy New Year to one and all, hard to believe how fast 2011 went.
I live in the south and we have a dish that I love called Hoppin Johns-blackeyed peas,rice-onions-tomatoes and chilies, oh almost forgot bacon crumbled in too. I use roitel (Mild) tomatoes -good eating..
I would love to be in your drawing for the book, thanks for sharing.
Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I've come to love the peace of New Year's Weekend/Day.

After the busy-ness of Christmas, the feast of the Holy Family is a calm day in my life by choice. And we keep our tree up until "Little Christmas" January 6th...

But I don't party on New Year's except HERE IN SEEKERVILLE THIS YEAR!

My gift to myself is extra writing time.



Connie Queen said...

Someone normally does the black-eyed pea thing, but I don't eat them. Our family and church friends get together to play games and eat on New Year's Eve.

I usually make New Year Resultions and post them somewhere like my closet wall where I see them everyday. Many times I don't take them down and three years later I see I still have the same goals!


Cara Lynn James said...

Good morning! Helen, I get black eyed peas, but sauerkraut??? Is that a German tradition? My father loved it, but me--not so much.

Virginia, I know the spirit and meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with snow, but since I grew up in New England and so did my kids, I miss snow here in Florida. If I ever write a Christmas (I really want to) it'll definitely be set in snow country!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh Cara, I loved reading about the New Year traditions and what gorgeous pictures of the houses from your books. No wonder you were inspired to write about that era and you do it so well. smile

Our family always watch the Rose Parade. When we were teens, we lived in Los Angeles area and went to the Rose Parade several times. I was glad I did it as a teen because the thoughts of camping out on the sidewalk in the freezing cold today makes me shudder. But it was a great time then. People would build little fires and we would be wrapped in sleeping bags to keep warm.

It was like an all night street party. Then the sun would come up and the parade would begin. We were exhausted but the floats all made with flowers would be so much fun to see for real.

Now I enjoy them in my warm house and watch the floats go by on the television.

Ruthy, the feast is perfect. We usually have lots of food for the parade and for the football games afterward.

When is the Rose Parade this year? I know the football games are on Monday, but will the parade still be on New Year's day?

Happy New Years everyone. I"m looking forward to our party.

Cara Lynn James said...

Abbi, I'd love a New Year's Day pretzel! Are they hard to make?

Glad the post got your brain working in overdrive, Ruthy, but that's a little scary! Only joking.

I think local festivals might be fun to put in a book. If I do another book set during the summer I might center it around the 4th of July, my son's birthday. When he was a kid we always went to the town parade and then to the festival on the green. Great chicken barbeque.

Cara Lynn James said...

Connie, one year I actually fulfilled one of my New Year's resolutions--I finished writing my first book! What a huge accomplishment especially since I thought I could never do it. I usually tire of a story half way through it.

Helen, I think I'll start the tradition of sleeping in late. That's definitely my kind of tradition!!!

Paula, your recipe sounds wonderful. I think I'll google it and try it if it's easy enough.

Jan Drexler said...

Cara, I like this kind of food for thought - non-fattening and fun to think about!

We've lived in several different places around the country, and each one has its own traditions for holidays. Serving black-eyed peas or beans at New Year's is definitely a southern thing, but it has variations - Kansas City style is different from West Texas, but they're both the same basic idea.

When I was growing up, we always had oyster stew for New Years...but I have no idea where that tradition came from!

Resolutions...hmmm... I actually achieved last year's: sell our house, finish my book, and climb to the top of Harney Peak (that's where I am in my profile picture). This year? The biggest one is to finish my second book :)

And Cara - my daughter's birthday is on the 4th of July, too! It really changes how you celebrate the holiday, doesn't it? Any holiday is better with cake and ice cream!

I'd love to be included in the drawing!


Marcy Kennedy said...

I never would have associated cabbage with good luck!

My family doesn't traditionally have any new year's celebrations because instead we celebrate my brother's birthday. He made the newspaper the year he was born as the first baby born in our county that year.


Tina Radcliffe said...

"the fluffy kind that doesn’t disrupt traffic or cause accidents."

You just cracked me up. I love it.

This year is my year to clear the decks and plow (as in snow) forward.

Jackie said...

Happy New Year to you too!
I love the mansions in your post. How beautiful!
I live in KY and have been traveling back and forth the last 3 days and have seen lights around many horse farms at night. They've been pretty in a totally different way than your mansions.
My birthday is Feb. 15, so I'm pretty fond of Valentine's day.
I'm working on a list of resolutions for my writing for 2012.
Thanks for sharing today!

Julie Lessman said...

OH, CARA, you bring back such memories!! My aunt always said you had to have ham on New Year's Eve because the "pig roots out the money," which is a line I put in A Passion Most Pure at New Year's. She also had cabbage and whiskey sours, neither of which sounds real good to me! I actually tried to put the whiskey sours in A Passion Most Pure, but that got nipped. Wonder why???

THANK YOU for the great background on a "toast" -- I had NO idea that it had its beginnings with actual toasted bread -- AMAZING!!

I wish you and everyone in Seekerville the BEST and most BLESSED new year ever, both the holiday AND the year ahead!


Mary Connealy said...

My family--when I was growing up-- had a New Years Eve tradition of cracking out the deep fryer and having shrimp, french fries and onion rings.
I'm not sure why we started it but my dad loved stuff like that and with eight kids it wasn't real affordable, and not very easy of a meal because my mom would just have to stand there and cook and cook and cook. Fry up a batch of onion rings, dump them on a brown paper lined pan and start a new batch. Whatever she cooked could be long gone by the time the next pan of greasy, yummy food was done.
It was really fun. The meal took over the whole night. The kids helped, slicing onion rings and potatoes.
Mom made a really good batter for the onion rings.
She's also maybe fry up some hamburgers and/or chicken ... in a desperate attempt to fill up her ravenous hoard of children so she could QUIT COOKING.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cara,
I loved touring the Newport Mansions. The trip was a 25th anniversary gift from dh and we so enjoyed seeing how the other half lived during that era. Spectacular photos here, and of Christmas decorations too! Just yummy for sparking ideas.

We are pork eaters on New Years day. I don't know which ethnic group that hails from (in my family, that is) but it's a long tradition with my mother's side which was German, English and Irish.

Happy New Year to you too. And thanks for the fun post!


Mary Connealy said...

We have gone to Texas many years over Christmas week to visit my mother in law who was a winter texan, and have often gone to church with her.

Her church has a priest who is really funny. He always brings his dogs with him to church. They walk up the center aisle with him. He talks about his family a lot and, because we went once a year and so often the SAME week we heard the same jokes many times.

Once he said something about New Years being a Holy Day in the Catholic Church and (I think I'm remembering this right
New Years Eve or Day?) he says, "I'll be here doing a service and you're all welcome to come but don't worry about missing if you're busy. It's not an important holy day. I think they created a lot of these holy days when Monks were running the church and they didn't have anything else to do but go to church."

Then they'd have a pot luck dinner after the service and he said, "I'll be bringing my usual seven course meal to contribute. A six pack and a can of beans."

Cara Lynn James said...

Lyndee, I know my father's side of the family (German) ate lots of pork. I'm going to start a food tradition on New Years Day and I'm going to cook a pork roast. My husband is southern so we'll have black-eyed peas. They're okay, but I prefer Mary's idea of fried everything, especially shrimp. But I'm not going to do the cooking myself and stand over a hot stove all day while everyone else eats.

Julie, I've never heard of the whiskey sour tradition!

Pam Hillman said...

That was fun!

I can see a lady welcoming a tall, dark stranger on New Year's Day! Oh, the possibilities are endless.

Oh, and Mary, tell your hubby not to forget to return my hubby's hay baler. Just sayin'

Bridgett Henson said...

Cara, I love southern traditions. Along with the ham bone, my family puts a dime in the blackeyed peas. The one who finds the dime in their plate, is supposed to have a luck filled year.

Disclaimer: don't try this at home. One year we never found the dime. Wonder where it went? :)

Love the pictures. No need to enter me in the drawing as I own a copy of your book.

Carol Moncado said...

My personal favorite tradition is sleeping in...


New Year's Eve we usually spend with another family and sometimes my sister but this year we're going to my brother-in-law's for Christmas with my F/SMIL. So the friends are coming over the 30th instead. They have family back in town after being gone for a couple years so they appreciate it too.

Another holiday...

Arbor Day anyone?

I have the 4th of July with a huge family picnic in it. And by 'family' I mean there's two main families in the series and pretty much anyone remotely connected to their family is invited [like the families of the kids-in-law - and their in-laws]. Turn out to be not such a great day for my heroine ;).

Think I'm ready for a nap...


Mary Connealy said...

Pam, he'll bring it back right away.

My granddaughter got tools for Christmas, stuffed plush tools. Are we raising her right or WHAT?

There's a pull string on the electric drill so it vibrates. We were assembling her little bike/scooter/trike whatever that thing is called and my husband and an uncle both had tools on them, plus the grandkids daddy had tools there in the house. My husband says, "Hand me a screwdriver" and my granddaughter pulls a screwdriver out of her little tool kit and hands it to him. SHE is TWO. SHE KNEW WHAT A SCREWDRIVER WAS!
yes, she's brilliant, there can be no doubt.

Mary Connealy said...

Wow Bridgett, a dime in the black eyed peas?
And you never found it?
So luck.....or......gastrointestinal blockage followed by emergency surgery!!!!!

Janet Dean said...

Thanks for the interesting info on our holiday celebrations, Cara. I didn't know where the term toast originated. Fascinating stuff. Of course I love history.

I've set books near Decoration Day--now known as Memorial Day--and July 4th. I'd like to write a Christmas story.

Ruthy, thanks for your fabulous breakfast!


Janet Dean said...

After seeing your pictures, Cara, I want to visit Newport in December!!


Jeanne T said...

Cara, what an interesting post. :) I didn't realize there were so many traditions associated with New Years. You just never know what your going to learn in Seekerville! :)

With young kids, we're figuring out what our personal New Year's traditions are for our family. We've been making it a family game day the last couple of years.

A friend of mine turned me on to the idea of focusing on one word for the year instead of resolutions. I did it for the first time last year, and I learned a lot and grew from doing that. :)

I'd like to be included in your drawing. :)
wetalk2biz(at)q(lower case Q)(dot)com.

Debra E. Marvin said...

My grandfather used to go out the door and come back in and hand his wallet to his wife at midnight. We also tried for dark haired men which were hard to find, until my son-in-law came along.

On New Year's Day, we always had roasted pork with cabbage or sauerkraut (and applesauce). Something about 'what goes over a fence last' so it must be we ate from the piggy's hind quarters...

Now that I'm alone, I still eat pork and cabbage on New Year's Day, which is my mom's birthday. I think I always will.
No, we're not German. All our traditions came from the UK.

But -- I really really want to go see the Roses parade floats in person some day. It's on my list of 50 things to do in my lifetime.
Thanks Cara for all the ideas and a place to share them. What amazing photos!

Cara Lynn James said...

Sandra, you're lucky to have gone to see the Rose Parade in person, especially when you were young! Maybe you could go now but stay in your motor home.

Jan, we always had my son's birthday party after the 4th of July parade and barbeque. What a busy day. But we lived on a lake during the summer, so everything was lots of fun.

I like oyster stew. My grandfather owned an oyster company in Connecticut when I was young. But I'm the only one in my family who lives oysters.

karenk said...

enjoyed this posting...happy new year :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Kav said...

Lovely pictures of a gilded Christmas. Boggles the mind when you think their massive Christmas trees would be alight with candles!!!!!

We always had a fortune telling cake at New Year's. It's called Barmback (Irish tradtion) but is really meant to be around Halloween. For some reason we always had one on New Years Day. It's a kinda quick bread/fruit cake with prizes baked inside. The prize you got predicted your fortune for the new year.

A pea -- you won't marry
A piece of cloth - a poor year
A coin -- a rich year
A stick -- an unhappy marriage year
A coin -- a rich year
A ring -- marry within the year

A person could have fun writing a romance around that, couldn't they? I mean, what if the hero gets the ring but the heroine gets the pea? That would be disasterous, don't you think?

Tina Radcliffe said...

Kav!!! I love this idea!!!!!

Whitney said...

Hi, Cara, and a Happy New Year to you, too. : )

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. I love the way it evokes warm memories through the colors of nature; how pumpkin pie mimics orange autumn leaves while leaving an aroma that makes your mouth water. Cranberry sauce, crisp-skinned, succulent turkey—all staples of Thanksgiving.

I love the family time that ensues around Thanksgiving, no strings attached: no gifts, no pressure, no crippling debt or stress or greed. A time to be thankful, to love and laugh and share.

It’s too bad it gets lost in a sea of ghouls at Halloween and Santa at Christmas. When did Halloween become such a big thing, anyway?

In Louisiana, we eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s; in Ohio, we eat (well, not me personally because I don’t like it) Sauerkraut.

Please enter me for a chance to win Love by the Book. : )



Cara Lynn James said...

Marcy, being a New Years baby is something to celebrate! But it must be hard to have a birthday so close to Christmas. Personally I'd like to have my birthday in the summer, but I was a February baby--not a good time in the northeast.

Jackie, I imagine the horse farms are beautiful any time of the year.

Tina, I can hear determination in your voice! I know you won't fail in your resolutions! Where do you find the time for everything?

Mary Connealy said...

All this talk of saurkraut almost makes me hungry for it. Not quite, but almost.
I haven't had a reuben sandwich of saurkraut on a hot dog for years.

usually when I get a yen for something like that, I order it, then I take a bite and think.....

"Okay, now I remember why I quit eating this stuff!"

Pam Hillman said...

My grandfather used to go out the door and come back in and hand his wallet to his wife at midnight.

I really LIKE this tradition. Did he do it EVERY night????

Must tell the cowboy.

Course his wallet is empty so it's a moot point.

Joanne Sher said...

I remember NO traditions for New Year's Eve OR Day, other than staying up and watching the ball drop. I also used to watch the Rose Parade EVERY year (partly because it was practically in my back yard when I was growing up, and my college alma mater always had a float in it. Haven't since I moved to Michigan, though. Maybe this year (after church?).

Please enter me for the book :D joanne(at)joannesher(dot)com

Christina said...

I wrote a short story called Auld Lang Syne, but the story was about the Scottish tradition of first-footing. I submitted it and was asked to make changes which I never did. I might have to do that some time.

Did you know eating black-eyed peas for the new year dates back before Jesus' birth? The Hebrew people would eat them during Rosh hashanah. I saw that on Wiki! ;) Actually, I read it somewhere else too, just can't remember.

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

We always ate blackeyed peas on New Year's day. Now that I know the superstition behind them, I'll definitely eat them. Also, I'll add a doughnut to my list of "to eats" on this day. If nothing else, I'll get the benefit of a tasty treat. It's been years since I've eaten one.

Carol Moncado said...

LOL Pam! I found DH's stash [which is NOT in his wallet] a few weeks ago. I think he's moved it ;).

Not that I'd take HIS money [saved up from his 'I can do whatever I want with it' money], but still. ;)

Kav- LOVE that! Wonder if it can be worked well into a contemp...

Off to ponder because that COULD be the perfect opening to book 2 of my CANDID series :D.

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Hi Cara! Thanks for the information about New Year's Day, and the gorgeous photos of those Gilded Era mansions! So elegant!

I love all sorts of holidays. As for unusual holidays, one of my short stories from college centered around V-J Day in Times Square. Not a holiday often celebrated today, but it was HUGE in 1945. :)

I love WWII, so I have another story that climaxes on V-E Day.

As for New Year's traditions, my family used to always go see a movie on New Year's Day. I don't always remember them, but I think in the early 2000s, we saw each of the Lord of the Rings films when they came out around then. We'll probably see Warhorse this year.

I'd love to read your book, so please include me in the drawing!

stephludwig at hotmail dot com

Jackie S. said...

Black-eyed peas for sure!! And we usually have pork! Would love to win your book, Cara. Have read the others and loved them and placed them in church library.

Cara Lynn James said...

Bridgett, I'm afraid if I put a dime in the black eyes I'd choke to death on it.

Carol, you have the best tradition of all. I love to sleep late! Wish I was a morning person, but I'm not.

Pam, I have a feeling you might turn the romantic stranger into a story. If you don't, maybe I will.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

So, Kav, your tradition got traded from the Druid New Year (Halloween) to the Gregorian New Year (January 1)...

But they kept the traditions and just moved the date. That's very interesting, kid! My grandpa would bring a fresh ham to my mother for New Year's day. He always brought food by when his pension check came, so feasting was a result of Grandpa's generosity although he never shared the feast.

I remember that fresh ham, melting in your mouth good with jars of applesauce. I still love pork and applesauce to this day. One of my faves!

Julie Hilton Steele said...

I was always told that what you were doing as the year passed was what you would be doing in the new year. Think about that and realize I have spent most December 31st trying to stay awake!

We do the ham, beans and greens dinner. We also always have sparkling cider to toast the new year!

Thanks for the info and the chuckles, y'all. Oh, and here they are on a campaign to people NOT shoot their guns off at midnight.

Peace, Julie

Cara Lynn James said...

Jeanne, I think I'd do better focusing on one word each year instead of on an entire list of resolutions that are so hard to keep.

Debra, did your grandfather have any $ in his wallet when he walked in the door???

Kav, I love the idea of Barmback. You should definitely put it in a story.

Joanne, as a kid I used to stay up late and watch the ball drop. I still do. After being in too many crowds at Time Square during the RWA conference (they were filming the Transformer movie) I'm glad I won't be there on New Years Eve.

Gwendolyn Gage said...

I love learning the history behind traditions, and you're right -- New Year's isn't a holiday everyone talks or writes about. Thanks for sharing, Cara! Happy New Year!

Virginia said...

HAHAHAH! I was laughing out loud at these! And the peas and coins and sticks in food... When I lived in France they did that with a flat cake on Epiphany but the pieces were pretty big, about two inches, so you would know if you got that in your mouth.
Mary Connealy, that priest sounds hilarious! Our priest told my six year old this joke last week and now I want to strangle him the next time I lay eyes on the man.
"What's green and has wheels?"
"Grass. I lied about the wheels."

*groan* It was funny the first 7 times I heard it...

I loved Kav's idea of putting the New Year's symbols in a romance. How cute is that??

Jamie Adams said...

Mom always made sure we had black eyed peas on New Years Day. Here I'm the only one that will eat them so some years I forget.

In this neck of the woods there's a saying that whatever you do on New Years day you will do all year long so no house cleaning and lots of writing for me.

Mary, I don't know how your mother did it with all those kids. I just have three and on night that I make salmon patties I feel like a machine. They eat em as fast as I can serve em. I have to sample as I go or else I wont get any.

marybelle said...

I don't have any set in stone New Year's traditions. I need to develop some I think.


Anne Payne said...

Growing up my mom always made black-eyed peas and ham for New Years. She was very definitely southern :0) My sister still carries on the tradition but my own family doesn't like the peas so we pass on that one. I like the donut idea though! I'm pretty sure I can talk them into trying it :)

I would like to have a year with no illness :) I know, that's not a resolution but it is a prayer!

I can't believe I missed the third book. I was sick most of the summer so I guess that explains it. I would love to win a copy of Love by the Book. Your descriptions of the Gilded Era are so real. I always feel as if I am there. Thanks for the opportunity!


Joy said...

Yes, we do a few of those southern traditions on New Year's Day! We cook black-eyed peas w/ hog jowl and cabbage. We also cook rice to go with it as well! LOL We also watch all the football games we can on tv as well as watch the parade. It is a great day to spend with the family! Would love to win your book! jumpforjoy at gmail got com

Walt Mussell said...

Being married to a Japanese woman, I get the fun of pigging out every New Year's. There's a lot of special foods that I look forward to at that time of year, and it's especially nice when we get to spend New Year's with my in-laws.

cynthia said...

I'd love to write a book about Christmas time. It's my favorite time of the year. Just looking forward to spending time with family and friends.

Our New Year's Eve tradition includes getting together with family friends and toasting the New Year with sparkling cider. This year will be a little different with the addition of a little one though. I don't think we'll be able to stay up that late this year though. But we'll still have good company to help celebrate.
cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

Mystica said...

Lovely post. For New Years day in Sri Lanka we have for breakfast a preparation of milk rice - again signifying plenty. (milk and the rice are the lucky things!).

DaisyTea said...

Don't recall that we had any foodie traditions on New Year's Day, but we used to always watch the Rose Parade and then the Twilight Zone all day long. :D

Speaking of food, my New Year's resolution is to be more aware of what I'm eating -- to take better care of myself! There is diabetes in my family & I need to start paying more attention! :)

Happy New Year, Everyone! May you be richly blessed of the Lord!

DaisyTea said...

Don't recall that we had any foodie traditions on New Year's Day, but we used to always watch the Rose Parade and then the Twilight Zone all day long. :D

Speaking of food, my New Year's resolution is to be more aware of what I'm eating -- to take better care of myself! There is diabetes in my family & I need to start paying more attention! :)

Happy New Year, Everyone! May you be richly blessed of the Lord!

Janet Kerr said...

These are beautiful pictures!
Thanks so much.



Anonymous said...

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