Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas, New Year’s, and Christmas again!

Whew!  Just taking a minute to catch my breath . . . it has been a busy holiday season. 
Our family celebrates Christmas on Dec 25th (as I grew up doing in the States) and, then, we celebrate New Year’s Eve with Anton’s family (as he grew up doing in the Soviet Union), and finally, we celebrate Christmas, again, on Jan 7th with our Russian Christian Brothers and Sisters.
We party - multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and multi-confessional!  WHOO HOO! 
I really do love it!
I was thinking about all of this the other day  . . . about our different celebration practices.  And I discovered a difference that I had never really noticed before.  See if you can follow my thought train . . . 
In the States, we start celebrating Christmas at the end of Nov/ beginning of Dec.  

We have parties and fun and say to each other, “Merry Christmas” until Christmas Day . . . then, the very next day, everything slows down (and comes down.)  

New Year’s is pretty much an after-thought for most of us.

We celebrate before for the holiday and on the holiday - and have a big “let-down” afterword.
In Russia, most put up their New Year tree (like our Christmas tree) the week before Christmas.  They work 1/2 day on New Year’s Eve - come home, and start getting the food ready for the New Year’s table (more about this later.) 

Then, most of the country has the next week off (until the 11th)  - and this is the party week!  

People rarely congratulate each other before the holiday. If they do, it is just during that week before and they say, “I congratulate you on the up-coming New Year holiday.”  

Only on the very strike of the clock and afterward (for the whole month) do people say, “Happy New Year” (and this way of congratulating is with all holidays, really.)  

Slowly the celebrations wind down . . . after the 7th (Orthodox Christmas) people get back on a regular schedule and finally, it’s back to work.  

Russians start with a Holiday BANG and party for a week until we’re all really tired of the holidays!  There is very little post-holiday depression - we’re all so tired, we’re ready to go back to “real life.”  
Not sure what these differences say about us... 

I would be very interested in hearing your ideas. 
Please leave a comment! 

Our own little “Snow Maiden.”

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