Start saying "Happy New Year!" from the moment your students return from the Christmas break. My students will walk in to find this New Year's morning work packet on their desk. It has easy to read directions, to they will know exactly what to do. There is a different activity for each day of the week. I use this same formatted morning work packet for most holidays, so my kids pretty much know the routine. The packet includes:
Monday: New Year related pictures and students will use each one in a sentence with correct capitalization and punctuation.
Tuesday: finding words within the words Happy New Year and then also finding the value of New Years related words.
Wednesday: writing a short paragraph telling about their favorite Christmas gift. Students always LOVE sharing this. You can have them read this aloud later in the day.
Thursday: writing a paragraph about their New Year's resolution.
Friday: putting 20 New Year's related words into alphabetical order.