One if the things that I love about living here is the Christmas season. While the holidays are winding down for most people in America, we're just getting started here. The churches that we know of celebrate December 25, at least some. Then we have New Year's; it's the biggest secular holiday of the year, but of course the church family has to enjoy it together, too. After that January 7--which is the Russian Orthodox Christmas--is our biggest church celebration. As our pastor in Moscow liked to say, "The Bible tells us to rejoice always, so we're going to take advantage of every day we can to rejoice in Christ's birth."
We had a wonderful family Christmas yesterday. Having my parents here really made it special. In the morning we had a Christmas breakfast, and Dad read the Christmas story. Jaan "read" along with him from his picture Bible. Right after that Will had to run out for the Sunday morning lesson with the orphanage children, then music practice. Mom and Dad joined him for church, but I stayed home with our coughing babies. The three who had been at church came home around 5:00. We went out and took Christmas cookies and cards to our neighbors, and then came back to a nice, hot Christmas dinner. Dinner was followed by opening presents; this was the first year that Jaan understood that. The last thing we did before putting two very tired children to bed, was my family's traditional Happy Birthday Baby Jesus cake.
The weather has been celebrating, too, I think. Both yesterday and today we've had clear blue skies. Right now I'm sitting between my two sleeping children, and sunshine is pouring through the window onto us. The trees we can see out the window are all lacy with frost.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas yesterday; don't forget to keep celebrating Christ's birth!