Celebrate Like a Catholic: New Year’s Eve

The following is a post from my Celebrate Like a Catholic Series. Happy New Year’s Eve!

Out with the old, in with the new. The coming of the new year is a time for a fresh start, not to mention a great excuse for a good time! Our celebrations have varied quite a bit over the past few years, mainly because I was pregnant and on bed rest last year and managed to be sick each of the three years before that. I’m getting over a cold right now, so I’m hoping for good health this year! Our typical celebration begins the Saturday before the New Year, when we make a point of heading to Confession. As Catholics, we are offered the opportunity to begin anew with a clean heart at any time – not just at New Year’s – by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We confess our sins to a priest, repent and receive Christ’s forgiveness. The priest typically offers penance in the form of prayer or acts of charity. This is awesome any time, but particularly just before the New Year. Our parish offers Confession on Saturday evenings, so we try to go as close to the end of the year as possible. One year, it worked out that New Year’s Eve fell on a Saturday. Apparently, a lot of other people had the same idea, because the line was particularly long that day, but it was absolutely worth it. You know that feeling when you leave the dentist and your teeth are perfectly, gorgeously clean? Yep, this is ten billion times better, and I’m not exaggerating one bit! It’s the perfect way to end the old year and welcome in the new.
Meet Sarah, wife to Dan and mommy to baby twin girls, Emily and Erin. She blogs about family, faith, food, and life at …And Twins Make Four!.
For New Year’s Eve itself, our celebration is fairly low-key. I try to make sure the house is fairly clean (easier said than done the past few years!) so that the idea of a clean start is present visually as well as spiritually. We play a board game as a family, drink hot cocoa or coffee, and eat cookies or brownies. We usually watch TV, but don’t change the channel to watch the ball drop in Times Square until right before midnight. This year, we will be at the coast to spend the night, which I’m very excited about. We haven’t spent the night away from home as a family since before Emily and Erin were born, and I think it will be a great mini-vacation. The one part of our celebration that won’t travel with us is the fireworks – we always save a few from the Fourth of July to light off at midnight. Emily and Erin didn’t seem particularly bothered by the fireworks this past summer, but things are a little different when you’re staying in a hotel. Plus, they were only 3 weeks old for Fourth of July, so their reaction might be very different – not to mention they should be in bed, not down on the beach with us! We’ll probably bring a little bottle of wine or champagne along with us, just enough to toast the New Year along with a kiss at midnight, and then we’ll go to bed not too long afterwards so we can enjoy the first day of the New Year to its fullest.


I know for a lot of people, New Year’s Eve can be a time to live it up and party, but we’ve found a very different way to celebrate and I’m glad of that. Our traditions are fun and centered around our family, and children of all ages can join in. As Emily and Erin get older, we’ll add in some sparkling juice for the toast, and we’ll let them “toast” around their bedtime, since they won’t be staying up until midnight for another few years. Most of all, I’m happy to begin the New Year with a clean heart and no headache!

How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve? What’s your favorite tradition? How do you make faith a part of it?


Meet Sarah, wife to Dan and mommy to baby twin girls, Emily and Erin. She blogs about family, faith, food, and life at …And Twins Make Four!.


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  1. says

    I LOVE playing family board games and I think NYE is a perfect night to do so! Cupcakes is only 2, but she got 5 board games for Christmas. I’m a bit overanxious I guess but we will definitely be doing this when she gets a bit older. :)

    Happy New Year!

    For Love of Cupcakes

    • Jenna says

      It sounds like she got a gift for the whole family! We did the same thing this NYE after we prayed a Rosary. It was perfect!