Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmases (plural!)

I saw this on Facebook, and it made me laugh. We're hobbits!

Over the years I have written at least a few times about two Christmases a year. Anyone reading here probably already knows that Russia and most of Ukraine--70%, they say--celebrate Christmas January 7. We do, too. And we also celebrate on December 25. In our family we tend to call the days "First Christmas" and "Second Christmas," so, yes, we really must be hobbits.

Back when we lived in Russia, we made December 25 a special family day to celebrate Jesus' birthday. Then we celebrated more with our church and friends on January 7. As times and locations have changed, that clear line has blurred. Now we still celebrate both days, of course, but often First Christmas includes friends and church, and so does Second Christmas. Second Christmas pretty much has to involve kolyadki (Ukrainian Christmas carols), though.

Ukraine might start officially recognizing December 25 as a Christmas, too. There's a law about that under consideration. Although, I seem to remember that they talked about it last year, and nothing happened. I like this bit from an article I read: "President Peter Poroshenko said that it's not his right to decide when Ukraine should celebrate Christmas, but he called it wise to celebrate twice." Officially or not, people are more aware of First Christmas in Ukraine than I remember them being in Russia.

There's another aspect of this that I love: having a season of Christmas, "a long, slow Christmas," as one book that I'm reading says. If your culture has been Christmas-ing since the day after Thanksgiving, I can see how you would be tired of Christmas by December 26. Here we get to have a lovely quiet Advent time of preparation. (Advent is NOT Christmas.) Then Christmas starts, and we have a whole two weeks to enjoy it fully. I love it.

So, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Merry Christmas again!

1 comment:

Baba Julie said...

Very nice, Phyllis! I love that the president said, "I think it is wise to celebrate two". And, what a lovely idea of a slow, enjoyable Christmas season. I think ours was more like that this Christmas b/c of some gift choices we made. (I didn't do as much shopping! (: ) Anyway, enjoy your Holiday Season! We love you all!