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In 2013

Do you know how to carol for others on Christmas Eve and to be at the family table at the same time? For several years we have amazing experience we call "Inside out caroling." As you know we have two public holidays (days off) during the season at our part of the world - a New Year on January 1st according to a public calendar and Christmas on January 7th (December 25th by Eastern Church calendar). Nobody wonders how this possible to celebrate New Year, i.e. the Circumcision of the Lord, prior to celebrating His birth. However the long prohibition on Christmas during communist regime moved all commercial aspects of the season (like Santa, fir, gifts, etc.) to the New Year celebration, and Christmas is left for celebrating God's incarnation in Jesus only.

After the communism collapse a traditional public Christmas holiday was restored and it is becoming more and more popular among people according to some folk traditions (mostly of ancient pagan nature of Koliada – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koliada). Many children are going from house to house on Christmas Eve now "doing caroling", as they think. They nock the doors wishing tenants all the best and bagging for treats and money. Nothing is about the birth of Jesus. Many kids are even from Tatar (i.e. nominally Muslim) families.

For several years we are celebrating meal with the family and friends on Christmas Eve waiting for carolers. When they come we are making inquiries what is the reason for doing this. Surpriselly few even know what is holiday is about at all! When the kids are completely lost in what is going on, we offer ourselves to carol for them instead. We sing actual carols and hymns, tell them the real Christmas message, supply with New Testament copies. And definitely give them some treats after all.

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