Yesterday, when I commented on the post “ I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” (check it here), I’ve answered a question: What toy/present did you really, really want for Christmas as a child? by saying that I don’t remember any Christmas presents, and it made sad (some way) the blogger who wanted Hippopotamus 🙂

Let me explain.
First of all: Christmas celebration is not THAT important for Russian people. If you’d ask any russian (who is living in Russia or at least spent there 30-40% of his/her life) they’d answer that only ‘New Year’ is the Big Deal! For example: you can’t tell to your parents “No, I won’t make it to the New Year meet-up” (when all relatives are usually gathering around the table for a WHOLE night chat and food, until they cracks or falls under the table).
Its a very old russian tradition to eat and drink during the whole night from 31 december to 1 january. The 2d january it continues. Until the 5th january. Then of course we make the same kind of the table ‘to meet’ Orthodox Christmas (between 6th and 19th of January), but after eating and drinking 5 or 20 nights straight, nobody cares anymore about the food, religion, or presents.
We are usually buying a present or two for a New Year! Of course we do. We make wishes exact 24:00. We are buying the dress according to the color of the year as well. We sing songs, we dance, we scream, we talk to anybody on the street like we know them for years: “Hey, you, we love New Year. Have a Happy One!”

We celebrate New Year to the fullest of the most fullest you can imagine.
Kinda Triple-Yolo in one week.

But what’s about Christmas? Advents? And all those sweet songs and nice movies? I dont know, you tell me…We dont care. Yeah, really. I knew nothing about Advent before my arrival in Sweden in 2005. Mmmm, advent? Whats that exactly?

Of course we are Orthodox and we proud of it.
Of course we are going to the church once or twice a year.
Of course we believe in God (remark: you have to remember the history here, the God was forbidden in USSR under the long time and almost 90% of the churches have been destroyed to the ground too).
And Of Course when somebody saying: “Oh I love Christmas”, we are ready with a boring “OMG, I love it so so so much too!”

We simply wanna be with… you, in this Xmas-game 🙂 We are ready to celebrate any day of the year when we can eat, drink and rest!

Gimme Christmas Day every day!
And you’ll make a russian person absolutely happy 🙂

About the presents. I don’t remember any, but surely I’ve got some (once I’ve got a walnuts. I loved walnuts). I think the gifts weren’t important much. I never asked for any. The spirit was important. To meet family and relatives was important. To have a good food and a good mood during that day was important.

The presents are just a temporary thing. Here they are…and the next year they are forgotten or gone. I guess it is a time for a new one again? 🙂

Next post – a short play or story – I’ll post this weekend. I have to write it first haha

And enjoy some pics 🙂






14 replies »

  1. In my ancestral homeland of Scotland, the celebration at New Year’s, known as Hogmanay, also takes precedence over Christmas. Since it’s Scotland, many a “wee dram” of the local spirits fuels the festivities. Here in the US…Santa has no snegurochkas like the nubile lassies in your pics to accompany him. Alas, poor Santa!

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  2. Ray, This post makes me yearn for better customs in my family. As kids it was the “Sears” catalogue and it was all about presents. Don’t get me wrong. We loved dreaming together… but what is left over when that exhilaration passes? All feels so blah! Lifeless. Bah humbug… until heart enters in. Good cheer! Family! Smiles! Connection! Grateful to change the past as this year, we (3 kids/us parents) will meet up on a beach and celebrate life! Christmas after all birthed miracles and it is a miracle that Im alive. Cheers 🥂🕊❤️🎶 J✍️

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    • Memories left over…always, but I understand the kids want always “to hold” something :)) Beach 🏖 and ‘mindful’ celebration sounds like a wonderful decision for a cold winter or memories. 🥂 🎶☀️🙃 Cheers! To the fullest ✌️😉

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