The solemnity of the Mother of God, which now coincides with the octave-day of Christmas and the beginning of the new year, was probably assigned this day because of the influence of the Byzantine Church, which celebrates the synapsis of the most holy Theotokos on December 26. This is in accordance with the Eastern practice of honoring secondary persons on the day after the feast of the principal personage (in this case, the birth of Christ).
text from EWTN
It is also the New Year! I have coughing, hacking little girls so the rest of the family is at Mass. It's a rule that someone in the family must get sick over the Christmas octave. Hopefully it won't last long.
We celebrated New Years Eve in our usual way with games, stomping on bubble wrap and a toast. All done a few hours early to allow us to celebrate with the younger children before bed. We end the celebration with a rosary for the repose of the soul of Grandma Galbraith (Kevin's mother) who died this night 16 years ago.
May your family have a very blessed 2012!