"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and may every new year find you a better man." (Or woman.) There: who knew I could improve upon Benjamin Franklin?

I remember when I was in high school, how every year New Year's Eve, we never had a plan, but were always out looking for some action, some great party that just never quite materialized. And New Years' Eve was always this big disappointment, nothing ever "happened," until finally one year, we did something different. My friend Amy and I were out doing the same again, wondering what awesome thing we'd be doing at Midnight, and nothing seemed to be working out, so we decided to say screw it, and we went to the store, bought a box of Zingers, Twinkies, Creme Horns, Ice Cream, Hot Fudge and Whipped Cream (I'm not even kidding--there might have been more.), like just a ridiculous amount of sugary treats for no reason at all, and we went back to her house where her parents were hanging out, and at midnight,  we four just rang in the New Year with a bunch of junk food--but more importantly, we were together with kindred spirits (and a bunch of "good" food), and it was super fun.

Ever since that New Years Eve, I don't look for that New Years Eve Party, but rather, take the night to count and celebrate my blessings. I'll remember loved ones who have passed, particularly this year our store manager Kali McCaleb, and I will be thankful for the light she brought to Beer and Skittles and to my life. And with that keen awareness of the passing of time, I'll raise a glass tonight to lifelong friends, to family, especially David the world's best husband of nineteen years (today is our anniversary!), to Beer and Skittles, to our staff, to the McCarty family, and to the crazy tapestry of people I've had the pleasure of getting to know as a result of opening the store. Cheers to what matters! Wishing you and yours a 2017 filled with love, peace, light, and some really good food.