Children celebrate the new year with books |

Children celebrate the new year with books

by Caryn Haller

Close to a dozen children celebrated 2012 a few days early Wednesday with stories, crafts, music and wishes.

The Minden branch of the Douglas County Library hosted the celebration to teach children how other countries ring in the new year.

“We decided the gingerbread program was too much for the staff to handle so we thought we’d do something different for the holiday,” said Carol Nageotte, library services coordinator. “I wanted to bring New Years down to a kid level, and do things that were fun for kids.”

In addition to making party hats and shakers, Nageotte collected pennies from 1992-2011 for the children to wish on.

“If you find a penny on New Year’s Day with the year of your birth on it you get three wishes,” Nageotte said.

Following the custom in Portugal, Nageotte also had grapes to make wishes on.

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“They have a custom of eating 12 grapes on New Year’s Day and make a wish on each grape,” she said. “It sounded like a fun thing. It’s fun to make wishes and see if they come true.”

Portugal, Israel, Germany, Norway, China and Mexico were some of the countries the children learned about.

“In Germany it’s like Halloween,” Nageotte said. “They dress up, bang pots and pans and go house to house for treats.”

As 9-year-old Cody Ferguson colored his party hat he talked about his New Year’s tradition.

“We just watch New Year’s TV,” he said. “I usually go to bed at 8:30, sometimes 9. I get too tired.”

Kelly Hoffman and her daughter, Jordan, had a girls’ night planned this New Year’s Eve.

“We’re going to stay up late and watch movies,” Hoffman said. “This year she’s getting older so I think she might make it to midnight.”

During storytime, the children listened closely as Nageotte read “Three Wishes,” “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late” and “Sesame Street Stays Up Late.”

During the Sesame Street story Nageotte passed a plate of grapes for the children to make their wishes on.

“I’m going to wish for snow,” Nageotte said.

As 8-year-old Kaialoni Shaw took her grape, a sparkle appeared in her eye.

“I wished for a unicorn, because they’re fluffy,” she said with a smile.

Kaialoni’s younger sister Alexia said when she received her 2005 penny she was going to wish for a teddy bear.

For more information on the library’s children programs, visit

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