Monday, December 26, 2005


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!


BabaJulie said...

Good morning! It is Dec 26th and as you said, we are "winding down". It was such a nice, quiet Christmas here. I really enjoyed it. Donnie's message really emphasize "God with us". And, I think we all went away with a real feeling of awe and wonder about what we were celebrating. So glad you could have family with you all on this special day! Love to all!

Anonymous said...

Christ is Born!
Glorify Him!

Phyllis have you ever been to a Russian Orthodox Church for Christmas Divine Liturgy on Jan. 7th? For Christmas the other Orthodox churches don't go by the Julian calendar but for Pascha (Easter) we are all on the same calender, not the western calender.

Merry Christmas! Rejocing with you! We celebrate Theophany (the baptism of Christ ) on Jan. 7th here with the blessing of the waters. Have you ever seen that in Russia? I have a photo that is really cool, no pun intended, that I think is from Russia.

Do the Russians you celebrate with eat the traditional Russian Christmas meal?

Anonymous said...

Here is the photo.

This one is cool too.

TulipGirl said...

This is something I miss muchly, being back in the States--having the extended holiday season. This year, I saw people putting their trees out on the curb and holiday decorations down, when we were still getting ready for New Year! And you left out of your list Old New Year--which was still celebrated in Ukraine (though I'm not sure if it is where you are. *grin*)

We're very blessed this year to have a dear friend from Ukraine with us for New Year's. We had special time reliving memories, talking about the past four years, and singing songs we just can't find over here.

Grace and peace,