Celebrating the New Year in the USA

Southern-style Sweet Iced Tea

updated for 2010

by: Grayson Leverenz

After nursing hangovers, Americans continue the celebration on New Year’s Day, though usually with less alcohol. New Year’s Day is a time to sort through the past and dream of a bright future.

To celebrate New Year’s Day in the US:

Football if you’re a fan. There are five college bowl games on New Year’s Day including:
• Outback Bowl (11am EST) – Northwestern vs. Auburn
• Capital One Bowl (1pm EST) – Penn St. vs. LSU
• Gator Bowl (1pm EST) – West Virginia vs. Florida St.
• Rose Bowl (4:30pm EST) – Ohio State vs. Orgeon
• Sugar Bowl (8:30 pm EST) – Florida vs. Cincinnati

If you’re not a football fan, but have been invited to a party, you can watch the commercials and appreciate the sponsorships as you think about your core Marketing class.

Food rituals play a big role on New Year’s Day with some foods thought to bring luck, and others thought to bring money. Like many culinary traditions, New Year’s foods tend to be regional or even family specific. My friend, Stacey’s, family is from Slovakia, and they eat sausages and sauerkraut to coax luck into the New Year. Having grown up in the southern USA, my traditions include: black eyed peas for luck and greens for money, served with cornbread and sweet tea because it’s delicious. Click here for the recipes from the About.com image below.

Whatever you’re up for after the previous night’s party. Some people indulge in Bloody Mary’s or beer with the big game. I personally stick to sweet tea.

Your vision of the year ahead. Some Americans make resolutions like: this year I will exercise 5 times a week; this year I will quit smoking; or this year I will go back to school. Others set goals or write plans for the year. And still others update longer-term plans (e.g. 3-year, 5-year, life) to reflect on their progress and motivate themselves to keep moving forward.

image: my 2009 Vision Board

Brandon and I populate vision boards focusing on the Seven Areas of Happiness taught by one of my favorite MBA professors, Dr. Gerry Bell:
1. Yourself
2. Family and love relationships
3. Work
4. Health
5. Money
6. Spirituality and Community
7. Fun

Best wishes for realizing your vision in 2010!

Author: Grayson Leverenz

Grayson Leverenz founded MBA in the USA® to help international students build networks, find jobs, and have fun in the USA. Hundreds of global professionals have benefited from Grayson’s intercultural workshops, and she has worked with people from Brazil, China, India, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, and the USA to build effective virtual teams and craft brilliant careers.

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