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Tis' the season for traditions. Many have their Christmas plans made long before that magical day when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. In fact, these plans were often made many years ago, and have remained throughout the years.

I still cherish those days. But drastic change followed my grandmother's passing. And what traditions were left ended when I had to say goodbye to both of my parents within a 10-month period.

My wife and I, however, are starting our own Christmas traditions. I most enjoy providing gifts for those who are not as fortunate, and knowing that we might have a little to do with putting a smile on a child's face and hopefully lessening the burden of an adult who is struggling to get by.

But I also enjoy our annual Christmas meal. Although not the norm, we chose breakfast for our celebration feast. There's nothing like beginning the day with a maple-glazed ham right off the smoker, eggs, sausage gravy and biscuits, and maybe even a couple of pancakes swimming in syrup. Ooh, a meal fit for a king.

Now that Christmas is behind us, we begin thinking about the new year. One can rest assured that Sandy and I were not in the masses on the night of New Year's Eve. In fact, we were likely fast asleep long before the clock struck midnight. But that's no indication we'll fail to celebrate the arrival of 2019 today.

I suppose many will be perched in front of their televisions. Even those who are not avid sports fans seem to enjoy watching bowl games on New Year's Day, and rightfully so. And although I, too, enjoy college football, it was many years ago when I chose to kick each year off with some type of outdoor excursion.

I can recall several fishing trips throughout the years, some of which were productive. But there were also many outings when I was fortunate in the sense that the act of being in the outdoors outweighed the importance of success.

There were those times when I opted to go hunting. I most often began the day by chasing squirrels through the treetops. But there have also been occasions when I began the year bow hunting for whitetails and a few times when I focused on bagging a few rabbits.

Then there were those years when I opted not to hunt or fish at all. These outings consisted of occasional backpacking trips. But I mostly embarked upon long hikes and returned to the comfort of my own bed later that night.

There were also times when I chose to spend the day peering through my viewfinder. However, this particular activity was reserved for those few occasions when we were blessed with a substantial snowfall blanketing the forest floor.

So, what to do this year? We could pretty well partake in any of the aforementioned activities, other than capturing snow scenes, as the odds of winter precipitation doesn't look very promising.

Following a little thought, I decided to go a different direction on the first day of 2019. I have no intentions of aborting my conviction of savoring the wonderful outdoors. But the activity will be a first for New Year's Day.

As always, it will prove most important to begin the year while fellowshipping with friends and family. And it is crucial to choose an activity that we all enjoy. That in mind, we decided this would prove the perfect time to spend the day getting back to the basics. That's right, I'm talking outdoor cooking.

Several friends, including myself enjoy cooking with the most primitive of implements. I suspect a pot of stew will simmer over an open fire and several dishes, unsurpassed, will reach doneness in the hearts of Dutch ovens that are fueled with glowing coals. I anticipate the aroma, of breads, cobblers, casseroles, and only time will divulge what else.

Of course, I'm looking forward to tasting our concoctions. But I most look forward to the opportunity to share tips, ideas and recipes throughout the day. Yep, this is going to be a first. And I am excited to fellowship with friends and loved ones while sharing our passion for cooking in the wonderful outdoors.

Editorial on 01/01/2019

Print Headline: What to do on New Year's Day

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