It’s official. My new favorite holiday is New Years. A holiday dripping with tradition, horn blowers, loved ones, a countdown and the murmurs of a song hundreds of years old and only the first 5 words are sung.
This New Year’s I traveled up to Boone, NC to visit some friends of mine, and hang with their gaggle of mountain friends. The only plan for the weekend was to catch the Naked Gods at Boone Saloon. Not having plans can be the best plans. We had a family dinner at home and then finished it up the lyrical stylings of Paul on the guitar, while Jesse chimed in on the harmonica and Lindsay tooted the trumpet. Truth be told, I could have spent the entire night by the fire singin along with those kids. Alas, we rocked out to the Gods, who are described as “hapless burly-pop prog-punk”, at the Saloon and stomped our feet and threw out some maneuvers to escape the locals. Amidst all the chaos of the Saloon, and with champagne in one hand, and the printed lyrics to Auld Lang Sine in the other, at midnight, it was our little group of friends, of family, circled around each other. We hugged necks, kissed faces and welcomed 2011 with hope. A sweet moment to bring one year to and end, and to start the new one with people who want the best for you.
The next morning as we recapped the evenings adventures and checked war wounds, we sipped manmosas and gave well wishes for each other for the upcoming year (great hiking adventures, professional changes, heart changes and recipes for the kitchen). The day was met with naps, food, early 90s country rock (Goodbye Says It All, by Blackhawk) and the anticipation of a New Year’s Day feast. Our first-footer for the New Year was Robby. A first footer is the first person through the door on New Years Day, and should be a good looking, dark haired man. He has to knock and be let in, and ideally he would be carrying coal (so that the house would always be warm), bread (so that the house would always have food), money and greenery (for a long life). If he comes on horse, that’s extra good luck. Robby didn’t show up with any of these, but we’ll take whatever good luck his presence brought anyways.
The house began to fill with wonderful smells from the grill and stories from over the holidays. There were 9 of us, a precious little boy and 3 dogs running around making the Millers home a cozy environment. Black eyed peas, collards and a pork loin fed our appetites and fed into the traditional menu of New Years Day. I just love the thought that all around the world, families and friends sit down to the same menu to wish good fortune and health to those seated around you.
From the time New Years Eve starts, to the time New Years Day ends the emotions of ending a year, the curiosity of the upcoming year, the laughter and love of family and friends is displayed. Time moves slower on these days allowing you to soak in the sweet moments of life. All of these reason are why the New Year holiday has now taken up residency as my favorite holiday.
So, to you and yours, Happy New Year.