Friday, December 31, 2010

Getting ready for new year's and some musings on Christmas

I've heard חג מולד שמח (Chag Molad Sameach -- literally Happy Birth Festival, usually used for Christmas) a couple of times in the last week or so, and I'm preparing for more once the Orthodox Christmas rolls around. I have to admit that until very recently I had no idea what Chag Molad Sameach meant. Those who felt the need to wish me a happy holiday that I don't celebrate simply said "Christmas Sameach". To which I usually smiled semi politely and nodded my head.

This year I was greeted with it a lot more, ever since people around me found out that we have non-Jewish kids in our home (really, only one, as P's conversion is now complete). It still doesn't mean we'd do Christmas. We will, however, do a Russian New Year's celebration. Normally we do it on New Year's eve, and it doesn't go too long, because New Year's Day is a regular business day, and kids have school, but since this year 2011 arrives in the middle of the Shabbat, we moved the celebration to New Year's Day, after nightfall. Organized by former Soviet Union born sisters-in-law and cousins-in-law, we gather at a suitably large place (this year at the office dining room of my dad's business), where a New Year's tree is decorated, secular songs are sung, punch is drunk and gifts are exchanged. Thanks to my cousin's father-in-law and youngest sister-in-law, we will have a visit from Ded Moroz and Snegurochka. A big dinner is eaten and... yes, it satisfies my longing for the Christmas season.

Oddly enough, it's me, who misses Christmas at times. I miss the carols, I miss the decorations, the tree. I don't miss the religious part of it at all, the consumerism associated with Christmas or really... the must celebrate feeling.


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