By Elise Finch

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — We’re focusing on New Year’s traditions we love in this edition of our “Spotlight” series.

CBS2’s Elise Finch got suggestions from colleagues who help bring you the news each and every day.

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For many, New Year’s Eve isn’t complete if they don’t watch the ball drop in Times Square and listen to “Auld Lang Syne.” For others, neither the activity nor the tune hit quite the right note.

“I don’t really have a New Year’s tradition, but I do like to go out with friends, drinking and dancing on the night of and my go-to song is Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time.’ I think it’s a great song for reflection,” said producer Jeff Thompson.

Director Mark Powell said his family typically hosts a party on New Year’s Eve.

“My youngest son was born on New Year’s Day,” Powell said. “We usually have people over our house, we celebrate his birthday.”

Hair stylist Lynne Schilling Rivera also brings a birthday vibe to her end of the year celebrations.

“I usually take my birthday candle from August, I relight it and I blow it out on New Year’s Eve,” Rivera said. “I’m not really into resolutions, I just like to get my wish and re-wish it again just in case I didn’t get it during August.”

Her go to song? “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang – a classic she used to sing with her dad.

Having New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day off is truly cause for celebration for a lot of people in the news business, no matter how they celebrate.

“I’ve worked every New Year’s for the last 15 or 20 years, so this is my first New Year’s off,” said technical director Jeff Schwenk. “It’s probably going to be quiet… We’ll hang out, watch a movie maybe, and then go to bed.”

Property department head Joey Simeone, our resident rocker, always rings in the new year with his wife and sons. Their company and the right Kiss song gets his year off to a good start.

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“Years ago I used to go over my aunt’s house on Long Island, my cousins were there, a little older than me, and they listened to Kiss. So I guess anything from Kiss will probably remind me of that,” Simeone said.

“Oh, I think for this year it’s going to be ‘Raise Your Glass’ by Pink,” said technical director Kate Deming. “Happy, positive, uplifting and that’s what we want to listen to going into the new year.”

A lot of our colleagues have new traditions because of COVID that will keep them home to ring in the new year.

“When I was younger, I used to go to church with my parents and then on New Year’s Day we would have a nice dinner, usually include black eyed peas,” said CBSN New York producer Brian Bradley. “Now with my wife, I think we’re going to do something different this year. I think we’re just going to stay in honestly, and watch a show we’ve been wanting to watch for a while.”

Black eyed peas will still be a part of the celebration because legumes, like lentils and leafy greens, are considered good luck foods.

“Something I like to do before the year ends is start planning my vacation for the next year. It gets me really excited for the new year and it gives me something to look forward to,” said assignment editor Lena Asfour.

“Every New Year’s, I like to grab my journal and I like to sit down and sort of reflect on the years past,” said producer Megan Cheek. “Any memories big or small with friends and loved ones, and I found it’s a really great way to just feel grateful about things I might have forgotten about and it makes me feel really good.”

“I make a list of goals for the new year,” said producer Emily Gandolfo. “For the year 2022 I’ll have 22 goals that I want to accomplish and then I check in on them next new year.”

“The catch to my New Year’s tradition is not having one because I like surprises,” said stage manager Jennifer Jones.

Jones says a special prayer for her son, the rest of her family and friends.

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It appears the recurring themes with our traditions are about loved ones, healing and looking forward with optimism and gratefulness as we say goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022.

Elise Finch