Friday, December 21, 2007
Here is our New Year tree! Actually, only Yeva and I call it that. Marisol, Jess, and Iris think it's a Christmas tree. Hah! What do trees have to do with Santa?
Jess and I made tons of paper cranes to decorate the branches. I usually like to make paper snowflakes too, but the tree already looks really crowded. We also have little metal snowflakes and round, shiny balls.
Look at all the presents under there already! The blue and green one right in the front is for me, from Colette! Some of them are from Ded Moroz (for Yeva) and some are from Santa (for Marisol, Jess, and Iris). There's one mysterious one...
This present with cookie paper is hiding way in the back, behind all the other presents. It says "To: Marina. From: Yura." What do you think it is? Who do you think it's from? I'm going to have to wait *ages* to find out.
I have a question. I'm going to Wisconsin on Monday, so I have to leave the New Year Tree and the presents behind! We won't be back until a few days after New Year. Mama says I have three choices:
a) All of us dolls open our presents early, before we go to Wisconsin.
b) I bring my presents to Wisconsin with me and open them on New Year. The other dolls can open theirs some other day.
c) I wait until we come home and all of us dolls open our presents then.
Which do you think is the best choice? And why?
I also sent presents out to some of my friends. Of course, someone, whose name rhymes with "wren," sent them by parcel post- on Saturday! I think my friends will have no choice but to celebrate New Year like me, and not Christmas! Violence sent me a package too. It's not here yet, but Mama says that even if it comes before we leave I have to wait until New Year to open it, unless Tyotya Jess and Violence say it's okay.
Here are my toys from my chocolate eggs. Most mornings, I've found one in my stocking. They're all characters from the Three Bogatyrs trilogy! The guy in the armor with the spear on the left is Dobrina Nikitich. The one in the white with the sword is Alosha Popovitch. The last bogatyr is Ilya Muromets; he's the one with the big belt standing next to the princess.
That's Baba Yaga with the green dress and brown apron. Doesn't she have a big nose? She lives in the forest in a hut that walks on chicken legs! Baba Yaga freaks me out.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
The other thing I'm hoping for, even though I didn't ask Ded Moroz, is a Ломо camera. They're special cameras from Leningrad that take really saturated and colorful photos. Mama got one from her old nanny, Olga Vassilievna, but she gave it to Sara! I really want one in my size, but I guess they don't make them that little. Don't tell Ded Moroz, but I am totally going to ask Tyotya Jess for one the next time I turn eleven. She found me an iPod that is just my size, so I know she can get anything. I told my Cheburashka to write a letter to Violence's Cheburashka telling him to write secret notes to leave all around Tyotya Jess and DyaDya Ethan's house so they don't know I am so greedy!
I really love taking pictures. I'm going to try to take some really good ones this year. Right now, I am going through some of the photos I took this year and using Photoshop to give them a fake Ломо effect. Doesn't Violence look so, so pretty in this one? It's when we rode the funicular in Kharkov this summer.
That was such a wonderful, wonderful day. We rode on tons of rides and then relaxed on the funicular- all the way to Alexeevka and back! Someday, I'm going to make Tyotya Jess and Mama take me and Violence all the way from Moscow to Khabarovsk on the Trans-Siberian railway so I can show Violence my hometown.
If you could go on a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Tonight, Jess and I trimmed the tree!
Jess is Japanese and she taught me how to make different kinds of origami a few years ago, so we decided to decorate the ёлка with paper cranes! Luckily, we have lots and lots of origami paper.
Jess made this really pretty golden crane. She's like a paper crane factory! We had a contest to see who could make 10 cranes first. The winner got the gold paper. Guess who won?
I only made 3 cranes TOTAL! Jess made about 20. She was really sweet and gave me a piece of her special washi paper since I didn't win the gold paper.
Our ёлка is going to look so beautiful when we're done! If you look up at the top picture, you can see that I put my toy Sputnik on the star. Marisol says her family *always* has an angel on their Christmas tree, but Iris and Jess's families put stars. We compromised on a star, which was great because my family always puts a red Soviet star on our ёлка!
What are your favorite decorations during the winter holidays?
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Chag Sameach! Happy Holiday!
Do you like the big menorah? My moms got it from the Menorah Mobile!
I'm not Jewish, but I have lots of friends back in Khabarovsk who are. That's because the Jewish Autonomous Region is nearby. Stalin founded the region because all ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union were supposed to get their own territory. It's way, way out in Siberia because Stalin didn't like that Jews were not atheists. Also, the official language there was Yiddish, not Hebrew! It is even bigger than Israel.
It is still there now, but there are not very many Jewish people left there anymore.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Last night, I went to see The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center! It was so, so beautiful. I got to dress up in my prettiest outfit and my brand new coat and boots. I loved seeing the ballet! The Mouse King was awesome, with all of his creepy heads. Jen was scared of him, so I comforted her.
It was so much fun to watch The Nutcracker! It's called Щелкунчик in Russian, but it's not as popular there as it is here. In fact, Yeva had never even heard of it!
Before the ballet, I went to Bryant Park to watch the skaters. They were so beautiful! I wish that I could twirl and jump like that. I think I might save up for some ice skates. There was a Christmas market there; people had stalls selling fancy Christmas decorations. One lady was selling velour tracksuits in doll sizes! They did not look ladylike at all. I would certainly never wear Juicy Couture, ew!
I have to go to sleep now, but Iris says she thinks we should put up our stockings, just in case Sinterklaas comes for Mieke. He might not know she's out traveling. He usually comes on St. Niklaus Eve, but Iris says he's not allowed in the house unless there are grown-ups home, so maybe he'll come tonight.
Only 17 more days before our trip to Wisconsin!