When I was a kid, New Year’s Day was just another day of Christmas break for me. I spent it playing with my Christmas presents and hanging out with my family. As I grew older, my excitement for the day dulled. It became just a day to recover from staying up late the night before. It’s also when many of us realize the holidays are over and work or school is about to start back up with no break in sight. Because my husband and I have always traveled to stay with our family for Christmas, we got used to returning home on or around January 1st to a house filled with decorations that are ready to be packed away. What a depressing way to kick off the new year. It was time for a change!
Last year was our first year having a child, and although we still traveled for Christmas Day, we decided to reclaim New Year’s Day with our own little family celebration. Here are the traditions we started last year and plan to continue.
A Special Breakfast
Start the day with an extra-special breakfast. This may include something from one of Bloomington’s many delicious bakeries or even something I buy from the refrigerated section at the grocery store and pop into the oven. Special doesn’t have to mean lots of time spent cooking, just something tasty we don’t have every day.
Stockings by the Tree
We love to save our stockings for New Year’s morning! As the Christmas season draws to a close, it’s nice to have a few more little gifts to look forward to giving and receiving. Plus, since we spend Christmas morning far from home, it gives us one more chance to slow down a little and enjoy our own Christmas tree.
Getting Some Fresh Air
After breakfast and stockings, we bundle up and head outdoors. Last year we enjoyed a long walk on our own through McCormick’s Creek State Park. This year we checked out a few organized First Day walks and hikes in and around Bloomington. Check these links for more details and save these ideas for next year.
- First Day Hike at Spring Mill State Park
- 5th Annual First Day Trail Run and Walk at Monroe Lake
- First Day Hike at McCormick’s Creek State Park
Looking Back on the Year
Sifting through photos and video clips I’ve taken over the past year is always fun for me. On New Year’s Day, my husband and I take the time to sit down and look at some memories of the year together. Last year, we ordered prints to display in our home. This year, we are planning to choose a whole bunch of favorites and order a photo book of our family’s 2017 adventures.
I look forward to our low-key but still special New Year’s Day celebrations almost as much as Christmas. How do you kick off each new year?