Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas limbo

My husband and I are both sort of on "vacation," yay! The last week of December, people are still working. But then they have a break until Jan.9th or so. I wouldn't want to need a doctor or anything during this time (lots of people out of town), but it's still nice to have time off.

Andrei and I sat looking at the clock yesterday evening and realized that it was only about 7:30 pm and we were both already home and had eaten and didn't have any work to do. He had stayed up until 2 or 3 a.m. for the past I-don't-know-how-many nights.

We played a board game, had dessert, looked at the was still before TEN O'CLOCK. So amazing.

It's nice that Christmas and New Year's are on weekends this year. When Christmas is in the middle of the work-week, it just doesn't feel right! This year, we had a Christmas concert on the 23rd....

At rehearsal earlier in the week.
For once, the songs were thematically-appropriate! Our concerts intended for Christmas and Easter often end up getting postponed and the songs lose their relevance, but we were "on time" this year. continue/-

On Christmas Eve, we gathered with some other families to have a meal. It was typical of parties here: taking turns around the table in the small apartment, more and more food appearing out of nowhere when you were expecting a simple meal...catching up with friends.

Then Andrei was up most of the night preparing the sermon for Christmas morning, which I hear was (not surprisingly) excellent. Unfortunately, I was sick.

The Sunday school put on a Christmas play. I just love, from the pictures at least, how everything turned out. Sometimes it is good (and healthy!) to know you're not needed. I helped out at rehearsals a little bit, but putting on plays (in a directorial role, at least), is not my thing. And then I couldn't actually attend the performance. It was great to hear that everyone worked together and it all came together well in the end.

My dear friends!

And I just LOVE the little star, our youngest congregant!

So now we still have New Year's, which I have always sort of regarded as a non-holiday...and then Russian Christmas, also rather ambiguous in the light of having already celebrated.

But, nonetheless, Merry Christmas!

Admiring the newborn King...


  1. Tell me - is your congregation mostly Russian or not? Do most Russians celebrate Dec. 25 or use the Russian date? Do Orthodox congregations do one thing, and other denominations another?

    Do you have a typical Yolka celebration?

    Just curious!

    I'd be interested in Andre's sermon; seems to me like sermons on Christmas and Easter must be the most difficult of all.

  2. All Russian except for me, although there's another American guy that joined recently. Most Protestants celebrate Dec.25th now and sometimes do a follow-up event on Jan.7th.

    Russian Orthodox Christmas is similar to Easter where there is more of an emphasis on fasting in the time leading up to it (as opposed to concerts and parties in Protestantism) and then they all break the fast together.

    I've never been to a "Yolka" celebration, they have trees up near every metro station and I guess kids in younger grades at least usually have a party at school.

    Maybe Andrei will do a sermon write-up at some point.

  3. Glad to hear that you are resting a bit! It's a great first Christmas gift!!

  4. Thanks, Karen! You're right. Enjoyed your Christmas posts!

  5. How CUTE are those kids in the Christmas play!! And the baby! Ah! That's wonderful everything worked out with the songs this year, I'm sure you blessed many people. Also, I absolutely love your nativity scene, did you make it yourself? I wish I had thought to make sweet things like that when I took ceramics in college.

  6. I know, I love how the costumes are all different!

    We did the nativity scene one Christmas on a whim at Bible study. I had bought some clay and we made everyone choose a part of nativity to sculpt (they all claimed they had no talent). Then we ran out of one type of clay, so we had to use another!

    I would never have the patience to make a whole set on my own, so I'm glad we did it as a group activity! So far one has protested that I've kept it. :)


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