Friday, January 09, 2009

it is not the date that counts...

When December 25th rolled around it was a difficult day. Not just because Nathan and Spencer were not here to celebrate with us, but, because the rest of the country was not celebrating with us.

Russia celebrates Christmas on January 7th. This year our church held a Christmas morning service. The children sang and recited poetry. Everyone was in a festive mood. After the service there was a “sladky stol” or sweet table. Tom was able to stay for that and enjoyed spending time laughing and celebrating with everyone. There were guests at the service who had come from various parts of the country to celebrate with family and see the children perform.

I had to sneak off to a Christmas concert that I had been invited to. The Kuban Cossack Choir put on an incredible show that was sold out! I was grateful for the invitation and that we were able to get tickets! She and I both got to hear our favorite singers. She likes a tenor who truly did a fantastic job. However, my favorite is a bass… he was tall and thin with an unbelievably deep voice. After the concert my friend had to rush off to her church’s celebration, Tom came to pick me up and he and I went to Valera’s home to celebrate with his family and their long time friends.

Being invited to Valera and Ludmilla’s home was a significant event in our lives here. They celebrate Christmas each year with family and friends that they have had since childhood. We felt very welcome among this group of men and women who have been together more than 50 years. As we left there two of the women invited us to share a taxi with them. That was another first for us… we got stuck in the elevator! Fortunately our call for help was answered and we were only confined about 15 minutes. After getting the doors open we chose to walk down six flights of stairs to our waiting taxi instead of trying the elevator again!

It was a long day… but a truly enjoyable one. Tom and I both realized that the date we celebrate Christmas on is not important. It is the spirit of the season that counts. Celebrating the birth of Christ on the Orthodox date of January 7th with all of Russia was much more fulfilling than our attempt to celebrate on December 25th alone.


  1. what a great post! You definitely found the true spirit of Christmas!

  2. I love Russian basses!!! Oh baby!