My “Pray for Ukraine” flag is a little more battered than when I first put it out but it is still standing proudly in front of the pear tree by the street.
This Christmas,for many Ukrainians, will be spent in the darkness and cold since electricity is a luxury not experienced by many in a long time.
I have been praying for at least a temporary Christmas truce but praying even harder for a permanent one. I imagine peace is the number one Christmas wish by Ukrainians this year.
I was interested in also finding out more about the normal Christmas traditions Ukrainians have usually entertained and they were fascinating… since most natives are Ukrainian Orthodox or Eastern Orthodox … they use the Julian calendar when Christmas Eve celebrations begin with the first visible star in the sky on January 6.
Floors are covered with straw and hay to celebrate the Christ Child in the stable. The Holy Supper commences with the sighting of the first star. There are twelve different dishes prepared symbolizing the Twelve Apostles. An extra place is set at the table inviting the souls of loved ones who have passed to join them. Any stranger is also invited to break bread with the family since they might be a beloved family soul returning.
After supper carolers arrive to sing songs and lead the families to Midnight Mass.
This year… will no doubt be different …but there is also no doubt that voices will rise up to sing traditional Christmas carols. Let us all remember the brave Ukrainians fighting for democracy for all of us wherever tyranny raises its ugly head.
So until tomorrow… ” For somehow, not only for Christmas, but all the long year through. The joy that you give to others is the joy that comes back to you.” ( Margaret Sangster)
Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh