Friday, December 26, 2008

The Christmas report

We had a wonderful day yesterday, celebrating Jesus' birth.  December 25 isn't much of a holiday here in general, but we call it "Family Christmas," and it's a big deal for us.  We'll celebrate "Church Christmas" in two weeks.  (Russian and Ukrainian churches celebrate Christmas on January 7.  Interesting note: in Russia people usually refer to the 25th as "Western Christmas"; here it's "Catholic Christmas.")

I'll show you our day, mostly with photos.  First thing in the morning:

Special morning snack, while watching the snow come down
We are so happy to finally have snow on the ground!  It fell for two days, and it's just beautiful now!

Raia sees Baby Jesus in the manger!
She noticed first, and ran--like the shepherds--to tell everyone the good news.  After that we had our last installment of Advent, which included reading the Christmas story.

We had a wonderful meal of cinnamon rolls and quiche, with special straws for the juice.  The cinnamon rolls have funny stories to tell: first, on Christmas Eve I started the dough, and then went to put the children to bed while it rose.  When I came back, it was running down off the table, onto a stool, and then on down to the floor!  And the next morning when I was actually making the rolls, while the children literally climbed all over me, I kept thinking something was missing, but I couldn't figure out what.  Only after I had the whole first batch in the pan, did I realize that I had left off the main ingredient: cinnamon!

After brunch, we dressed in tons of layers and headed out to enjoy the snow.  The school near us has a great hill, and the kids have poured plenty of water on it.  Raia was pretty scared of the whole idea, but she went down a few times with Papa.  The one time that Will sent her down by herself, she screamed and cried the whole time.  Jaan was right in there with the big kids, and Asya couldn't get enough of sliding with Papa.  Everything was just so beautiful, too!  Jaan says that he wants to live outside in the snow and never come in.

This is how we went out

On our way to the ice slide
(That's our building in the background, by the way, for those curious people who study every detail.)

This is how we came back in

While everyone else napped, I fixed a simple Christmas dinner.  They sure slept soundly after all that fun out in the cold!  Asya did not like the idea of having her meals switched around.  I think she felt cheated by the fact that we combined them.  She was glad to see a good dinner when she woke up, though.


Happy Birthday Jesus!
This year we sang happy birthday to Jesus and blew out the candles on the cake at home, and then we took it to church to eat there.

Tea at church

Jaan and Papa sing a duet

Will singing with the youth
The time at church was a perfect close to the day.  It really felt like we celebrated all day long!


Baba Julie said...

Oh, I LOVE it all!! It really looks like Christmas there!! What a fun and special day!! Thank you for the pictures!! Love, Baba Julie

Anonymous said...

Will and Phyllis, thanks so much for the recap of your day, and the great photos! I especially like Jaan singing with Papa with Raia watching, and Asya sitting in the snow! And blowing out the candles, and...and...I think I really like them all! Wish I was there! I predicted you'd have a white Christmas, so you can consider me a true prophet ;-)

We'll keep trying to reach you!

much love,


Mom said...

Thinking you were probably too busy to post so soon again, I happened by the site one more time and was delighted to find details of your Family Christmas. Thank you very much for including us with pictures and prose.

We love you dearly and miss you muchly.

Alissa Maxwell said...

Merry Merry Christmas! I still need to get my "overseas" greetings (i.e Electronic) sent out!

Everyone I tell loves your advent nativity building. I've been meaning to ask you, do you have a nativity set with 25 different pieces, or do you just use the same piece for several days?

Phyllis said...

Alissa, we don't have 25 pieces in our nativity scene. . . yet. I hope to someday, but we just use the same pieces for several days now.