My traditions involve rampant serving platter usage.
When I get my new calendar every year, the first thing I do is mark off my personal traditions. Any time I can foresee feeding or planning food outings for a group of people starts getting dreamed about in January. The parties go on the calendar, and I start planning menus.
Planning menus this far in advance, particularly if you are short of budget, can be a lifesaver. You can start buying things in January for a party in July (assuming they won’t go bad before then *cough*tequila*cough*) so that the party isn’t a burden on your pocketbook and you can enjoy it without eating Ramen noodles the rest of the month (unless you want to. Live your life.).
You can also plan your timeline better if you go ahead and get it on the calendar before everything sneaks up on you. For meals that tend to be big productions, it’s not enough to have the meal itself on the calendar; you also need to plan time to cook. You can even start weeks in advance to make the portions of the menu that can keep for that long. Cookie weekend (tl;dr version – we made multiple dozens of 13 different cookies and then had people come over to eat them and to bring buckets to take some of their favorites to go) would have been less exhausting if we had made some basic doughs – like the shortbread – in advance. I’ve got cookie weekend on the calendar already this year, though, so I’m going to shoot for 20 different cookies. Because I can.
The task for today is to start shopping for next year’s calendar/food planner. If you already have next year’s calendar (my people!), go ahead and plot party days and traditions. You can plot in pencil if you want. But get them on there.