Catholic Activity: New Year's Eve Family Celebration
Putting on the mind of the Church, we should spend New Year's Eve thanking God for the blessings He has given us the past year. Celebrating this evening with the family, one of our largest blessings, is quite appropriate. Here are some suggestions on how.
In the mind of the Church, the last day of the year should be dedicated to thanking God for all the blessings which He has given us, but especially for the gifts and blessings of the past year. If there are services in your parish church on New Year's eve, you might take the whole family to thank God in union with the other families of your community. If it is impossible for you to assist at the parish services, you should have a little thanksgiving service at home, a part of which might be the singing of the Church's hymn of thanksgiving, the Te Deum Laudamus (in English — Holy God We Praise Thy Name).
In German homes the family gathers around the Christmas Tree on New Year's eve to thank the Infant Jesus for all the blessings which have been bestowed on their home. Around nine o'clock the father brings home a large "Pretzel" (we could use coffee-cake) and mother makes some coffee. Before the family eats the little thanksgiving supper, all the children thank their parents for all that they have done for them and ask God to bless them for the new year.
Activity Source: How to Make Your House a Home by Rev. Bernard Stokes, O.F.M., Family Life Bureau, Washington D.C., 1955