All the holiday splendor is over and the decorations are being picked up. The trees are being taken down and the stress of the family get together's are a memory of last year. Life has returned to normal and we can all relax, but some may not know that in several homes through America especially in my neck of the woods the holidays have yet to begin.
In homes all through America and the world, Orthodox are preparing a traditional dinner for Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve? That was December 24th! On the contrary, in Orthodox homes who follow the Gregorian calender Christmas is celebrated on January 7th. With that being said, I have a tradition to celebrate every year since I can remember. I use to get out of school excused due to celebrating Russian Christmas. I always liked being able to celebrate a different holiday from most, not for the sake of religion, or the good thing to do to keep people happy, rather for the traditional importance I feel towards this event. The connection I have knowing this has occurred in my family with my grandparents my great grandparents all of who no longer are around. Knowing that in the short time my family has been in this country that we have embraced January 7th as our Christmas. Granted I never got presents of gifts, but it was never about that for "American Christmas was for gifts. The things I enjoy the most is the time with my parents, the smells out of the kitchen, and the joy I get from knowing this is worth passing down to my son, seeing him participate in the tradition I had done since I was young, thats worth having him experience it.
Tonight I will be going to my folks house to partake in the traditional aspects of Christmas Eve dinner, such as washing our hands with coins to ask for prosperity in the coming year. Enjoying traditional ethnic fare and Momma Junkies Manhattan clam chowder.
It really is one of the reasons that I am glad I have stayed in the area, in order to maintain a small part of my traditional heritage. Not many in the Junkie clan left locally to keep this small dinner going and I am glad we have the ability to keep momma Junkie happy and allow her grandson to participate annually. So I wish all of my readers a happy Russian Christmas from my Russian side of heritage.