Well.....Merry Christmas!!! Heh, allow me to explain before you decide I've gone mad... Today (Jan 7th) is "Russian Christmas". As some of you know, my father is Russian (which of course makes me half Russian). Although he was born in the US, his parents came from Russia and still observed some of the old world traditions. One of them was Russian Orthodox Christmas, which is celebrated on Jan 7th every year instead of Dec. 25th. The reason for this is because the Russian Orthodox Church uses a different sort of calendar. Anyway, the Communists banned Christmas in Russia until the early 1990?s. Up to then, families had to be VERY sneaky about it and if they got caught they all went to prison ? even the children! So most people who were spotted having a good time, claimed that the festivities were in celebration of New Year instead of Christmas. If they played their cards right, they got away with it. They still had a big dinner, but most of the traditions had to be altered. Instead of Santa Claus they had ?Grandfather Frost? who wears the same kind of suit but it?s blue instead of red. He also had a lovely young female assistant who was simply known as the ?Snowmaiden?. She traveled around with him helped pass out presents to kids... They had Christmas trees too (Yolka) but used fruit and berries for ornaments instead of fancy doo dads... Interesting huh? So every year my father makes a big production out of it, he makes sure everyone knows it?s ?Russian Christmas? at his house. Heh, now if he would only hand out another round of presents... Merry Russian Christmas everyone!!!