A brand new year, with new beginnings, fresh starts and a wealth of warm memories with loved ones to carry us through the year. Whatever resolutions you’ve made and possibly already cast aside, I pray that a top priority will always be family. Create lasting memories of quality time spent together, and fashion fun adventures to treasure: Play board games, cook new recipes, go hiking, paint pictures, read books, watch old movies, chase fireflies and watch for eagles, build forts and camp out in the den, roast marshmallows, meet new friends, help someone in need, write songs and race sticks in a stream.
Enjoy every moment of the new year. Find ways to make every day a holiday using some of the following January celebrations and, to borrow a phrase from Disney, “Let the memories begin.”
National Smith Day — Supposedly, this holiday commemorates the birthday of one of the country’s first Smiths and early settlers, English Capt. John Smith of the Jamestown colony. According to an article in a Seattle newspaper, the 1990 census showed that more than 1 percent of the population shared this last name.
Where does your family name originate? Research your family history and find your origins. The Statesboro Regional Library contains a wonderful genealogy section and has knowledgeable, helpful librarians for your assistance.
National Polka Dot Day — Go all out with all things dots. Wear polka dots, and create a polka dot painting. Dip round objects into paint and print on poster board or art paper. Use items like empty thread spools, a sliced lemon or orange or clean, empty food containers. Then end the celebration with a dotted buffet. Eat strawberry rounds, carrot coins, blueberries, orange slices and zucchini bites, to name a few, perhaps with a donut hole for dessert.
National Puzzle Day — Find a puzzle to put together as a family. Purchase one with the appropriate number of pieces for your family size and ages, and let the fun begin. You can spend an afternoon completing the puzzle, or work on it in bits and pieces until you’re finished.
National Compliment Day — Practice this holiday until it’s perfected. Make an effort to give at least five compliments to each family member in a day, then see if you can continue this celebration daily. Everyone needs compliments, so start the year off with tons of them.
Bean Day — Work in the kitchen to make a pot of bean soup. Use ham bits and a ham bone, your favorite type of bean and seasonings to concoct a delicious winter meal. Plenty of recipes can be found online.
While the soup is simmering, read one of the many versions of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” then create your own version of a magic bean story.
The stroke of midnight just days ago gave us a new calendar with empty spaces waiting to be filled with family memories. Flood the pages of 2014 with family fun, adventure, creativity, and lots and lots of hugs and kisses.
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.