in Ukraine, New Years Equals Christmas

Vitaliy says it’s because Communists wanted to get away from religious holidays, that they made New Year’s Eve into the Christmas-type celebration. I’m going to show you a few photos of a traditional (but Christian, no alcohol, etc) group New Years-type Christmas.

I have slept through the last decade of New Years pretty much. Me and the kids. Vitaliy would go to center to be with rehab guys, I would sleep. It was actually pretty nice.

But not this year!

A year or two ago, Christian families from various villages in our house’s area started getting together for fellowship, especially around holidays. So … we planned a New Year together. Vitaliy offered to do American turkey. And we met in our Center.

Here’s what else was planned: First, the wedding decorator brought awesome decor!


Then food food food:




Then, one mom led a Bible question game for the kids. Then Santa, Snowflake Lady (I’m not sure how she translates into English), and a reindeer came to give out presents. But, as usual here, the kids had to say a poem or have something prepared to say to Santa before getting a gift. (The smaller kids got a pass on this.)


Skyla, Vika, and their friend Alla did a skit for us:



Then we sent all the kids to play downstairs, and the adults had their program. We also had a Bible question game. Sang Christmas hymns.Then we had a lottery, where we exchanged gifts and told a “wish” to the person we gave the gift to. Telling a person formally what you “wish” for them is very common on birthdays and other events like weddings or New Year.


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And some of the guys did “acrobatics” (these two clowns went through Seminary together, so … you know … )


It was altogether an awesome evening! And I will confess that I went to bed at 11pm. Got up at 2am for the drive back to Kiev.


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