New Year

Nathan Cone / TPR

What did I do last year? 2016 was a whirlwind of parenting, work, movies and reacting to one more piece of bad news after another, many of them having to do with the deaths of some of my musical heroes. Despite the feeling of “burn baby burn” many of us had about 2016 at the end of the year, there were some great things that happened as well. Let me preface my personal list here by saying that I’m a working dad and husband whose chief responsibilities are homework-checker and kid-shuttler, so I don’t get to see and hear everything. Or even a lot of things.

It's the most aspirational time of year, as people cast about for their resolutions — often resorting to the same old standbys they've tried, and abandoned, before.

This year, why not try something new? We happen to have a few suggestions on hand ...

For the Ads for Nicer Living project, NPR listeners are writing short ads pitching life's little joys, five of which will be produced by NPR.

Most of the submissions so far are about appreciationfor children's laughter, dogs, sunsets, warm socks, balmy breezes.

Disney/Pixar

It was a great year for music, movies, and more, but as a working dad, I don’t get out to see and hear as many things as I’d like to. Nevertheless I felt inspired to cobble together my own personal Best Of list for 2015. The items below aren’t ranked traditionally, but instead are presented more or less chronologically. I hope you enjoy reading, and may 2016 be filled with joyful moments for you as well.

saparksfoundation.org / San Antonio Parks Foundation

If you’re planning to drive downtown for “Celebrate San Antonio” on New Year’s Eve there will be a lot of demand for parking. About 70,000 people are expected to attend the free event.

There will be three live music stages, food booths, carnival rides, face painting and more. The night will be capped off with a fireworks show at midnight.

It will take place on Alamo Street, between Market and Cesar Chavez from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. That stretch of Alamo will be closed to traffic from 6 p.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Friday.

Friday is New Year's for the millions of people around the world who celebrate the Lunar New Year. This year is the Year of the Horse.

On Morning Edition, Ying Compestine, a cookbook and children's book author, talks about her favorite dish for the holiday: steamed dumplings infused with green tea. They appear in her most recent book, Cooking with an Asian Accent.

The New Year holidays of Compestine's youth were very austere. She came to the U.S. as a grad student in the 1980s, but she grew up in Maoist China.

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