Add enough food for ten times the number of people in your house, as well as a few alcoholic beverages (don't forget the champagne! And sodas, for designated drivers, of course!)
Oh, toss in some cute tiaras.
Provide comfortable seating for hours of catching up...
Lots of hugs and laughter...
Husbands (or close friends or whatever) for that midnight kiss later...
Don't forget some noisemakers and manly hats ... and silliness.
(You can never have enough hugs and laughter. Be generous with those.)
Allow dogs, of course.
... because you're going to mess up the kitchen again, anyway, by frying bacon (the real stuff, none of that turkey crap) and cooking omelettes (full of veggies, to balance out that shame-on-you bacon.)
Take a long walk through the woods (to work off that bacon, omelette, and guilt, of course.)
Be sure to watch for New Year's Day surprise blessings, like, say, a great blue heron flying overhead...
... or lingering, stubborn, signs of autumn.
Later that afternoon, take another walk down the dirt road...
...to the neighbor's house, where your arrival is announced in proper country fashion.
Try to capture the beauty of the afternoon, inside and out, in your camera.
Meet interesting new people...
And last, realize how late it is and walk back home in the dark, under a sky full of stars.
That's the right way to greet a new year.
Worked for me, anyhow.
Happy 2011 (again!)