Turkey, Traditions & Resolutions

The turkey is all gone, the lights are up and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is officially underway. Now, before you let the holiday stress get to you, remember all the things that make the holiday season such a special time of the year.

Before you know it, another year will have passed us by, and we’ll be asking ourselves, where did the time go? Then in a flash, the holidays are over, and it’s time for that greatest of American traditions.... making New Years resolutions!

This year we’re going make it easy for you with some great ideas for your 2009 New Year's resolutions; it involves traditions, family and friends, lifelong memories and your state parks.

Here are some ideas for an exciting new year:

• Start a new tradition. Join the many families that have made state parks a part of their family’s tradition. It's easy, just choose an activity and stick to it. Who would have thought that a weekend get away at Oconee State Park would turn into a family tradition for generations? It’s not uncommon to meet a family with several generations still coming to the same cabin where their grandparents brought their parents.

Not ready for a cabin yet? Start a family tradition with a camping trip to Edisto Beach, an annual hike to the top of Table Rock, a family reunion at Barnwell or Santee state parks, or a Sunday afternoon picnic accompanied by a walk on the nature trail at the park nearest your home. For generations families have incorporated a visit or vacation to a state park into their family albums and memories. Spend a day away with family and friends and before you know it, you’ve made a memory and perhaps started a new tradition.

• Go back in time. South Carolina is rich in history, and with a visit to one of our historic sites, your trip back in time is only a short drive time away. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed. In fact, to celebrate our 75th anniversary, tours and admission to all of our Historic Homes will be free the entire month of January.

• Come out and play! It’s a great resolution in a time when video games and technology occupy so much of our children’s time. What a great opportunity to get outside and rediscover your state parks.

One great way to get involved while still using technology is with our new Junior Ranger Program. Visit our Junior Ranger site, tell a child about it and visit a park! For adults, it’s time to put down the remote, find the time to go outside, and reacquaint ourselves with the great outdoors and have some fun!

So, hit the trail, get your feet wet, your hands dirty, spend time with family and friends, and feel the power of nature and history. Regardless of your age, 2009 is the year to “come out and play!"

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Phil