Monday, January 07, 2008

Merry Russian Christmas!

Well it's Merry Christmas here in Russia today.. no matter how many times I try to explain to David that America uses one calendar and Russia a different one, I don't think it's sunk in.. he keeps asking why Jesus gets two birthdays and everyone else just gets one birthday celebration. :)
We had a beautiful sunny but cold day to celebrate, and our favorite tradition of taking cookies to all our neighbors. Here's Rachel, David & Caleb packing up the boxes of cookies and candy
And here we are walking down our street..
The one downside to this has been that I sometimes wonder if our kids are really learning the truth of 'it's better to give than to receive'. By the time we went up & down our street we had our sled filled with chocolate bars, pickles, and oranges... we have such wonderful neighbors! And had so so much fun getting to visit them - the kids all said this was their favorite part of the holiday celebrations.
Johanna especially loved getting to push the sled.. and her assortment of puppy dogs, horses and lamb.

Saturday night our doorbell rang.. at the door was this precious elderly man Nicolai Igorivich. He is our adopted *Grandfather* and the most amazing 79 year old Russian man I've ever met. The stories he can tell of being a young cook in WWII are just unbelievable. Anyway, he showed up at our doorstep telling the kids that "Ded Moroz" (Father Frost) had come to visit them. He had presents for them and a jar of jelly for us. I wanted to cry as I pictured this dear man standing in live for the bus and traveling well over an hour and then walking the sheet of ice path to our house from the bus stop... all to give us a jar of homemade jelly. Truly the one giving the gift is infinitely more precious than the actual gift. When I scolded him that there was no way he should be traipsing about on such a cold night, he answered, 'but Susanitchka, you are so far away from your parents so I had to take their place tonight. I wanted to make sure you knew you were loved.' Such a priceless memory.. and jelly.. :) We are so blessed...

May you rejoice today and every day as you remember the miracle of God with us.. may all of our lives bring Him glory. And as our tradition we always read this story with the children by Leo Tolstoy - you can read it here
What a reminder that where love is.. God is..

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Thank you for sharing! Merry Christmas to all!

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