And you thought the time had passed for wish lists. Yes, ol’ Santa is back at the North Pole or on Bayou Terrebonne, or wherever the dude hangs, and we’ve either received what we wanted or are left to scramble on our own to find ways to access that iPad, or Wii, or whatever it is. One of my friends was interested in a new Maserati. I don’t think she got it.

But the wish-list season goes on because now we are faced with the New Year’s resolution conundrum – which is, to make them or not. To be sincere about them or not. To even fool with the concept or not.

In my usual strong fashion, I’m taking a hard stance squarely in the middle of this annual activity. What do you expect from a New Orleanian who lives by the code, “Moderation in Excess?”

New resolutions that I will share despite the fact that this is against my better judgement:

• Be more committed to the work at hand. Distractions come way too easily, and I often make no effort to avoid them. In fact, I usually encourage them. If I become the least little bit bored, or become "over" a project, there could then ensue a whole afternoon of web research, if you get my drift.

• Don't be so damn impatient. Sometimes things just take too long. Take a deep breath. Pause. Relax.

• Slow down the driving speed. I've always pushed the speed limit. With traffic cameras, that can get very expensive.

• Be more appreciative of family. Yes, they can be tedious and even tiresome. But they (usually) mean no harm.

• Be more appreciative of friends. See above.

Now, here are a few resolutions that are continuing programs, already in practice in my life, but I want to enhance this coming year.

• Continue to enjoy wines from every corner of the globe. I really don't fully understand people who only drink one thing. Only red. Only white. Only Cabernet, or whatever. We live in a golden age of wine. Great work is being done everywhere. Why limit the possibilities?

• Continue to use only fresh ingredients in cocktails. Citrus, fruit, mint and spices should all be the freshest they can be. No cans of anything. No powdered mixes. If you buy a package that tells you to "just add water," save yourself a lot of mediocrity.

• Coupled with the above resolution, use those bar tools. Squeeze the limes. Muddle the mint. Prepare your own rimming spices. Measure your ingredients. Break up cubed ice into smaller pieces. Always use store-bought fresh ice.

• Experimentation is a glorious thing. Buy a good cocktail recipe book and go for it. Cooking New Orleans cuisine is fun. Making great cocktails is a ball.

And so there we are. Simple New Year's resolutions that have nothing to do with diets, exercise, self-help seminars, children or small pets. These are the reasons you read this column, isn't it?