• 88°
Hartselle Enquirer

Welcoming in new year

By Clif Knight 

Just as time has a way of changing our appearance, it changes the way we live. 

Nowhere is that more apparent than the way we observe the New Year’s Day holiday. Today, it’s all about watching football on television, exchanging unwanted or wrong-size Christmas giftor partying with family and friends. 

We serenaded relatives, friends and neighbors when I was a kid. It was the accepted way of ending the old year and ringing in the new. 

Siblings young and old would dig out and dress up in the ugliest clothes they could find hidden away in closets, trunks and ragbags – sometimes cross dressing to hide their identities. They’d cover their faces, necks and hands with lipstick and soot and wear a stocking or paper bag over their heads to further disguise who they were. 

Serenaders would show up at doors of nearby homes Dec. 31 and ask for permission to come inside. The object was to have those inside “guess who” they were.  

To keep the game interesting, visitors would offer hints to their identities, and their neighbors would continue guessing until each visitor was identified. After a big laugh, homeowners would dole out holiday goodies as treats.  

The treats ranged from an apple or orange to a handful of parched peanuts or a fried fruit pie. Some of the treats were eaten on the spo,t while others were packed away in a paper poke or a coat pocket for a later snack. 

The serenading lasted long enough to warm feet and hands in front of a roaring fireplace. Visits continued until bedtime or until the youngest siblings tired from the walk or wanted to go home, count their treats and cuddle up in a warm bed. 

Lighting fireworks was a popular activity for kids as they worked their way back home. Even though they were outlawed in Alabama, they were sold in Georgia. All we needed to do to reach a store that sold them was a running car and a buck for gas. We loaded up with silver salutes, cherry bombs and big reds and made good use of them from Christmas to New Years. 

In the absence of television, adults spent New Year’s Day hunting rabbits and quail in cornfields, hedgerows and creek bottoms, accompanied by beagles, redbone hounds and bird dogs. Their game provided a bountiful meal of fried meat, hot biscuits and white gravy at suppertime. 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Annual Hartselle Camp Meeting begins Sunday

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Salute: Hartselle High alumnus graduates from Naval Academy 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Annual Hartselle Camp Meeting begins Sunday

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Goodbye to a good boy: Beloved family pet, Ace, battles cancer  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

College Street Players to present Newsies: The Broadway Musical 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle adds two police officers 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle bomb threat deemed hoax

Editor's picks

At 90, Carl Winton keeps on trucking

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle man with rare genetic condition headed to Grand Ole Opry

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan delegation discusses recent legislative session 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

College Street Players to present Newsies: The Broadway Musical

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

HU adjusts rates for water, sewer and natural gas services

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Town Council helps Priceville Elementary furnish school 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle City Schools hires three math coaches for 2024-25 school year 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Crestline students rock Alabama Stock Market Games, poster contest

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

New EMA director worries and plans for a living

Falkville

Jonna’s journey: Local woman battles Glioblastoma with unyielding faith 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Sheriff’s Office opens applications for 2024 youth academy

Brewer

MCS Technology Park to host STEAM summer camp for middle school students 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Bridging the gap: Hartselle Historical Society launches guided walk downtown bringing history to life

Falkville

Storm shelter companies see increase in calls for installation

Falkville

Morgan County rabies clinic to be held June 1

Eva

Community class reunion celebrates Morgan schools

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hats off: Class of 2024 graduates from Hartselle High School

x