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May YOUR 2024 BE Blessed and Prosperous! - How I Celebrated in my Russian Childhood.

May YOUR 2024 BE Blessed and Prosperous! - How I Celebrated in my Russian Childhood.

It is December, 1984. I sit in our family’s tiny communal apartment at the desk by a widow.  It is dark and beautiful outside, the middle of a Russian winter.  The days are short with only dim light at midday.  Outside the wind is stinging and bone chilling cold!🥶.

There is a street light right in front of my widow and I notice how beautiful the snowflakes ❄ are as they fall and the light hits them. The ground is completely WHITE- all covered by glistening snow. The night sky is dreamy and mesmerizing, the moon 🌘 stars ⭐are clearly visible and sparkle ❇from above giving light and producing a diamond 💎like glow of the snow ❄below.

I have a tiny artificial table top “Christmas tree” 🎄 (“yolka”) next to me with multicolor lights and a few ornaments on it. It’s Communist Russia, so we do not celebrate Christmas as it is not a holiday recognized by the country’s leadership.  In fact, all faith based and religious holidays are outlawed. “Religion is the opium of the masses!” - says Karl Marx. We learn that early in school. In December we celebrate New Year (“novue goud”) - that is the only holiday allowed.  So our tree officially is to celebrate the new year, not any holiday that has religious significance.

New Year’s Celebration was richly celebrated in Russia - as kids we would have special events called “Eulka” - they were held at community centers or theaters. In Saint Petersburg they were in beautiful palaces that were preserved as historical buildings, museums or event centers. They were highly anticipated and involved dressing up and a fairy tale dramatized performance of Father Frost (“Deyet Moroz”) arriving with presents from Lapland (modern day Northern Finland) on a gorgeous sled lead by reindeer accompanied by his beautiful grand daughter “Snegurochka” (snow girl, kind of like Elsa in Frozen). We would laugh and play, sing and participate in the fun show and always get a gift 🎁 (“pedarok” - which was a very rare occurrence, especially for me). The gifts were simple, yet so appreciated and brought us so much joy - they included a small bag filled with whole walnuts, mandarines, chocolate and hard candy and maybe a set of colored pencils or something small, but definitely useful 😊).

I am alone in my room and I am drawing a special gift for my dad - we are going to send him a letter. It’s year 8 of him being in prison and I am sad that he is not with us and I long to see him soon. I BELIEVE we will be reunited and I KNOW he loves us.

It’s the end of 2023 and we almost had a repeat of that 1984 sadness and longing to be reunited with the person I deeply love -my dad. He had been in prison once again (for a different reason than in my childhood) for over 2 years!

We are in San Diego, CA - the USA, the land of freedom and opportunity - we DO celebrate Christmas! We are free to practice our faith and we are deeply grateful for all God has given us.

I am no longer an 8 yr old girl, I am almost 48, although my heart never stoped longing for my dad, his love and his presence. We DO have good news 😊- he was released from prison Dec 21! We had a very blessed Christmas and about to welcome 2024 with deepest gratitude and inexplicable JOY!

If you have had a challenging year or a few and are missing loved one during this holiday season  - I GET it! 😔

I AM deeply grateful to be of service, to share my life with you and consider it an honor to have been able to hear your life stories.

I pray 🙏for the MOST beautiful, blessed and prosperous 2024! 🎊🎆🎊

May broken hearts be healed to receive and give love once again, injured and hurt bodies restored to wholeness and health, separated loved ones reunited, provision delivered, broken dreams brought back to life, mental, emotional and spiritual strongholds released and may we stand with and for each other in our families, workplaces, communities, country and the world.

We are ALL in this TOGETHER!

Happy New Year,

With love and gratitude,

Dr. Elona ❤️

I wrote this content myself, not a 3rd party and not AI

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