Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It's Christmas in Georgia!

Merry Christmas! In Georgia, Christmas is celebrated on January 7th this year according to the Julian calendar used by the Orthodox Church (and thus by most of Georgia). Georgians celebrate Christmas with processions, called Alilo, through their towns. They carry banners and dress as figures from the Christmas story, wear traditional Georgian clothes and collect money for charity. The Georgian Christmas tree is called Chichilaki and is carved from walnut tree branches (the Western Christmas tree is called nadzvis khe). Santa Claus has also made his way into Georgian culture where he is known as Tovlis Papa (Grandfather Snow). Although he doesn’t fly in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, he does deliver presents to children on Christmas Eve.
http://blogs.voanews.com/photos/2013/01/07/january-7-2013/
http://www.expres.ua/world/2012/12/30/79694-novyy-rik-tbilisi-metushni-zate-tradyciyamy
http://prikol.bigmir.net/view/171910/

We felt the absence of our toddler on Christmas, though there was recognition of our future little family member at all of our family Christmas celebrations. We hope that by next Christmas, we’ll have our little one with us. I had a little trouble falling asleep a few nights before Christmas due to a cold and also due to thoughts about what Christmas might be like in the future, so I jotted down some of my thoughts and feelings as a little poem:

It’s Christmas Eve my little one and you’re not here
You’re out there somewhere, but we know not where.
Are you warm and cozy, snug in your bed?
Do sugar plum fairies dance in your head?
Or do you lie alone in the dark and cold,
In PJs outgrown and no teddy bear to hold?

It’s Christmas morning my little one, I wish you were here
You’re out there somewhere, but we know not where.
Will you wake to a stocking and a new toy?
Are you shouting and dancing with gleeful joy?
Do you stand in awe when you see the tree?
And stare in wonder at the lights twinkling brightly?

It’s Christmas day my little one and you’re not here
You’re out there somewhere, but we know not where.
Are there presents for you, topped with a bow?
Do you rip off the wrapping paper fast or slow?
Or is there only the same broken toy,
Tattered book and bits of crayon to enjoy?

It’s Christmas dinner my little one, I wish you were here
You’re out there somewhere, but we know not where.
Is there a special Christmas night feast?
Does your favorite nanny carve the roast beast?
Are you eating your vegetables like a good little one?
And enjoying dessert only once your meal is done?

It’s Christmas night my little one and you’re not here
You’re out there somewhere, but we know not where.
Are you snuggled up, reading a bedtime story?
After a day full of fun and Christmastime glory?
Or did you spend the day the same old way,
Were you even aware of the Christmas holiday?

It’s Christmas my little one and you’re no longer there,
But home with us now, an answer to prayer!
We’re so happy to have you to hold and to kiss
And to teach you all about Christmastime bliss.
Cute little clothes, fun toys and sweet stories,
But it’s Christ’s birth in which this family glories.
We give thanks to God to have our little one near
Always and forever, year after year.