The holidays are such a fun time of year! Everyone seems to be more cheerful and the decorations around the city are beautiful. My building's courtyard is extra festive as we have a holly bush in our yard! On Saturday morning, things got even more beautiful when I woke up to snow falling!
I have a new parka this year. It was custom-made in Manitoba, Canada, especially for me! At first my mom and mama told me I couldn't have it until New Year, when we traditionally give gifts- but I managed to convince them that I should get it on the occasion of the first snow. Whee! I put on my parka, snow pants, and boots so that I could play in the snow.
I love the snow. It reminds me so much of New Year, of hot chocolate, and of the Nutcracker! I stopped taking ballet lessons a few years ago and I'm so relieved to have more time to play, particularly during Nutcracker season. I do miss the excitement of performing, but performances are a reward for hard work and I just didn't have the energy or passion to do that anymore. I'm glad. Sometimes you might think that you should never quit something, but if it's making you unhappy you might need to rethink things. I know I made the right decision.
Hurrah for the holiday season! May your days be merry and bright as the solstice approaches. I can't wait for New Year. Only a few more weeks!
One of my favorite holiday traditions is decorating our New Year Tree! Usually a holiday tree is decorated for Christmas, but it's also a Russian tradition to decorate a tree for the New Year holiday. Since my family celebrates New Year instead of Christmas, we call it a New Year tree! My friend Brooke came over for her third year helping me decorate. Brooke and her family celebrate Christmas, but in a secular way. Secular means non-religious, just in case you weren't familiar with the word.
This year is special because my parents let me and Brooke put the fairy lights on the tree by ourselves! It was a lot harder than we thought it would be! The branches kept poking us. Ouch!
Brooke is really great with putting the lights on. I kept putting the lights all clumped up together, but Brooke helped me make sure they looked even. That's why we're good friends- we help each other!
Spending time with friends and family is my favorite part of the holiday season. I was really missing my friend Violet, who lives in Utah. Luckily I was able to call her and hear that she's doing really well and enjoying the holidays! It's a good thing that Brooke is here to cheer me up!
Once the fairy lights were ready, Brooke and I started putting ornaments on the tree. This little snowflake is always my favorite- he's been on my tree since New Year 2008! Wow! We had so much fun putting all the little characters on the tree.
This year Brooke and I tried something a little different. We put little Miffy character toys in the tree to show my Mom how much I love her! Mom spent time living in the Netherlands, where the artist Dick Bruna invented Miffy! Miffy makes her think of that time in her life; she's a special character to her.
Finally it was time to put the star on the tree! Brooke held me hand to keep me steady as I climbed onto the nightstand to reach the treetop. Hurrah! The tree looks so beautiful with all the fairy lights, ornaments, and the star.
Brooke loves to share her family's holiday traditions with me. This year, we decided to hang stockings as her family does. We left our stockings hanging from our beds. (Brooke says you're supposed to hang them from the fireplace, but we don't have one.) When we wake up on Christmas morning, they will be filled with treats like small toys or candy.
The holidays are such a wonderful time of year! I'm so glad I have good friends with whom I can celebrate!
P.S. I recently celebrated my birthday! Keep an eye on my blog for a post about my party!