Many cultures and regions have their own customs regarding New Year's Eve. In my area, Christian watch night services abound. The premise is that you should be doing something at midnight that will give you good fortune for the whole year, so you spend the night in church with like-minded folk praying and singing praises to God. Our church belongs to an association of churches and the service rotates to a different church each year. In December 2004, it was decided to split the service between two churches, one for adults and one for kids and teens. Normally we don't attend these services, but that year ABM decided to go while I stayed home.
According to ABM, there was a stark contrast between the two services. The youth service was run by a minister friend of ours, and it was a celebration of life with joyful music and hope for the new year. ABM didn't stay, however, because he felt obligated to support our pastor who was running the adult service across the road. At that service, they decided to take the opposite approach. Instead of having hope for the new year, they seemed to be having a funeral for the old year. ABM said it was the most depressing watch night service he had ever attended (he grew up as a churchgoer, so he's been to several of them; I've never been myself).
We aren't superstitious, but I've been wondering if that depressing watch night service affected 2005 for us. Our usual New Year's Eve routine is to snuggle up in bed with snacks and watch TV. Right after the midnight kiss there is a little under-the-cover action to insure that we start the year on the right note. This doesn't result in a perfect year, but our love life hasn't suffered any (^_-). Last year, however, was rough for both of us spiritually. ABM and I both seemed to lose our way a bit. We stopped participating in all the activities at church, and I stopped going to church all together. I still believe in the basic tenets of my faith (Jesus died on the cross for my sins) but lately I have been rejecting everything that has to do with organized religion. This is a bit tough, considering that I work for a ministry!
Again, I'm not superstitious but I don't pretend to know everything about how the universe works, either. If how we spend the first hours of the new year makes a difference, then I hope what we did this year wipes out what we did last year. We couldn't follow our normal ritual because ABM has a severe case of strep throat. I spent the time taking care of him, which he rarely lets me do. The kids were all getting along at midnight and watching the same TV program, which is something I definitely want to see carried out throughout 2006. Also, the first thing I did this morning was read the Bible and pray. Despite the illness (C2 is also sick), there is peace in this house today and I hope for the rest of 2006.