Looking ahead to the New Year

By Patrick Fisher

I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas. As was my custom I went north to visit family. Like many families, we get together on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, enjoying food and each other's company.

The other major holiday of this season, New Year's Day, is coming up in a few days with its own traditions and customs.

One can be found in this issue as it marks the end of the year with our annual Year in Review. There are highlights of what happened in the New Prague area with photos from the many different events.

Another tradition for this time of year is looking ahead to a new year. It's time to reflect on what you hope to accomplish or change. I think with all of us, there's a lot we would like to try and improve on. Some of the most common are losing some weight or getting into better shape. Personally, I would like to try some different activities-maybe get out and do some camping or visit the Boundary Waters.

The New Year's holiday has changed for me in some ways, while in others it hasn't. Growing up, New Year's Eve was spent with family and friends. As a child it was one of the few nights my siblings and I could stay up late. Usually there would be snacks, such as cheese and crackers or my parents would get out the fondue sets. It was one of the few times each year the pots and the accompanying forks would see the light of day.

There would be some visiting or we would watch one of the specials on TV. It would usually be one of the programs with broadcasts from the party in Times Square in New York. Other times, it would be shows with a line up of comedians. Some times that wasn't such a bad way to pass the night with quite a bit of laughter.

New Year's Day was a mixture over the years with my family. Some years the most we did was watch the Tournament of Roses Parade, others we would suit up and head to Bemidji for some skiing at Buena Vista, a family-owned ski area outside of the town.

These years, I've spent the past few New Year's holidays with friends. We keep it simple, a small party or go out to one of our favorite restaurants.

I don't mind if most of my New Year's celebrations are considered a little quiet compared to some of the bigger parties that go on. It allows me a moment to catch my breath and just enjoy the time I'm able to spend with family and friends.

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