New Year’s celebrations in America are all about welcoming fresh starts, breathing a sigh of relief for a tough year gone by, and looking to the future with anticipation. Depending on your heritage and personal style – and that of your family and friends – your New Year’s celebration can take on a very different look, sound, and taste.

Let’s take “look” for instance. Are you a dress-up-and-go-out-reveler or a pajama-wearing-living-room-lounger? Perhaps you split the difference and pull on an outfit that will look good in this year – and the next. Then head over to a neighbor’s house for barbeque, beers, and a prime spot on the couch to watch the Times Square hoards freeze their butts off waiting for the ball to drop.

Next “sound.” Who invented those squeaky noisemakers anyway? Ok, ok. ‘Tis the sound of the season. I’ll give you one night and then take a break for 365 days. And then there’s Auld Lang Syne. Sung in full volume no matter where you are – a chorus of voices half mumbling the words but understanding the sentiment perfectly well. Remembering friends and family, celebrating the fun of being part of a very large, champagne-imbibing community of bad singers with warm hearts. While firecrackers loudly dispel evil spirits and announce the calendar change.

Finally, there’s “taste,” with champagne as the main course. Popular foods along with their requisite superstitions make for very interesting eating. Green foods for luck and money. Pork and ham because pigs root forward as they eat embracing the New Year. Pickled herring, fish, sweets, and pastries also bring good luck. And round or ring-shaped foods symbolize the completion of a year. In China, a full table of food symbolizes the hoped-for abundance of the New Year. In fact, our family has recently adopted the tradition of eating Chinese food for New Year’s.

December 31, 2011, is the perfect opportunity to introduce a new sensory experience to your community of one or many.

From our EVR family to yours: Happy New Year!