Tuesday, December 18, 2007

In preparation for Russian Christmas Celebration.

And after...

Today we are busy getting ready for a Russian Christmas Celebration that I have offered to organize for the kids in our homeschooling coop. We baked cookies yesterday, so that's off our list. I have dehydrated oranges, grapefruits, lemons and pears to hang as decorations on the Christmas tree we'll have at the gym.

I took a special trip to the Russian store yesterday to buy the Russian chocolate candy and a Christmas ornament for each child. And at night I made a gift tag for each kid, with the name written in English and Russian. And in the back it says "Happy New Year and Merry Christmas" in Russian.

I had to wait for my girls to go to bed to start packing all the goodies and arrange each gift bag, so that they will be also surprised on Wednesday when getting the present.

Now we have to get going making girls' costumes. Ivana said she wanted to be a n angel. That's easy. We have a white dress from her previous dance recital, and we'll make wings. And Leona will be a Cinderella. That is easy too, since we have a dress and all she wants me to add to it are the beads and sash, just like in the story.

This is the program I am planning to implement tomorrow:

Set Up: Christmas Tree, undecorated, just the lights on the tree (but not turned on). It would be nice to have it in the gym, so that there is enough space for everybody to run around.

Morning Activity: Kids get to decorate an ornament and hang it on the Christmas tree (later to take home) and will also do a paper craft activity.

Children can come either dressed in costumes already (to set up the mood for the party), or change into the costumes after the morning activity.

Ideas for costumes: animals, movie/cartoon/fairy-tales characters, snow flakes, snow fairies, snow knights and queens (anything to do with a winter theme). And it is crucial to have the kids wear the costumes. That is how we celebrate the New Year and Christmas in Russia!

Everybody around the tree waiting for Grandpa Frost (Ded Moroz) and his granddaughter (Snegurochka) arrival. Russian music playing, kids running around the tree, dancing, etc.

Time to call DM. All the kids gather around the tree and start calling, “Ded Moroz”, “Ded Moroz”. (I’ll make sure they ‘ll do it nice and loud for DM to hear all the way from Siberia!).

Finally, DM and S. appearing. Greetings!

Now it’s time to light up the Christmas Tree. DM will encourage the kids to say in Russian, “Elochka, zazhgis” (“Christmas Tree, lights up”).

Lights Up! A lot of cheering! Go around the tree in a circle to Russian Music playing.

DM will be giving little quizzes and rewarding the right answers with small gifts. (I’ll need some help here from another Mom. ) Those kids that couldn’t answer the questions will be asked by DM to recite a short poem, sing a song, dance, or will be given a gift for a nice costume. Everybody will get a gift!

I’ll come up with a couple of games that DM will play with the kids.

Before DM and S depart he’ll give each child a bag with goodies and a Christmas ornament. (There will be NO Hershey!) I’ve gotten Russian candy and chocolates.

Then we will have lunch and exchange the cookies that each family will be asked to bring.

I am excited and can't wait to do it tomorrow! Hurray!

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