Decorating the New Year tree!


The winter holidays are a very special time of year. It seems like most people are in a better mood and there are pretty decorations everywhere you look! Many families have traditions that they keep each year as well.  My family celebrates New Year as our main winter holiday.  We do not have a religion, though I do have a special ikon from Eastern Europe by my bed to remind me of my Russian heritage.

One part of my family's New Year celebrations is that we put up a New Year tree! It's called a "elka" or "ёлка" in Russian.  For the past few years, my friend Brooke has been coming over to help me decorate the New Year tree in my bedroom.  We stay up late decorating the tree and then fall asleep to the lights on the tree! It's a really special tradition that we both love.


My moms and I got out our holiday decorations from storage. Mom is really nice and helped put all the lights on the tree before we started. (If you want to learn some really bad words, hang out with your parents when they are putting the lights on the tree!) I've had my special little tree ornaments for many years, since before we moved to this apartment.  We also have some pretty glittery stars that we like to hang sometimes as well.  Oh! We also have a pretty green tree skirt that we put under the tree.


The first ornament to go on the tree is this beautiful Scandinavian straw star! My friend Violet gave it to me. It also reminds me of my friend Piper, who has Swedish ancestry.  Isn't it nice? It reminds me of the straw goats in the short film called Olaf's Frozen Adventure!


Brooke's first ornament was a glittery, sparkly green star! Green is her favorite color.  By the way, do you like her special pajamas? They have the constellation of Cetus the Whale in the star on the front! If you've read the Luciana books, you'll know why Cetus is important!


After we each hung our first ornaments, we put all the rest of the stars onto the tree.  Finally! It was time to hang the silly little holiday characters on the tree! They are not Brooke's favorites, but they are traditional for me.


This little snowflake is my favorite, favorite ornament!  Want to know a silly story? I saw this ornament in a photo back in 2007! I liked it so much that I asked where it came from... as it turned out, it was from a capsule vending machine! After some looking, I found one of the special capsule vending machines that sold these ornaments and used ALL my quarters trying to get at least one of each character.  I ended up getting three snowflakes, but that's okay, because they are my favorite!


Once Brooke and I put all the ornaments on the tree, it was time for the most special decoration of all- the star!  Usually we have a glittery star, but this year, Brooke found a beautiful star that lights up and changes color.  It's so nice! Also- usually one of us stands on a nightstand to put the star on a tree, but this year we were brave (or maybe reckless?) and Brooke stood on my desk chair! Whoa! Doesn't the star look beautiful on top of the tree?


With the tree decorated, Brooke and I celebrated our hard work with milk and cookies! Brooke is so nice to come decorate the tree with me, don't you think?


Finally, I took some photos of Brooke in front of the tree to message to her parents. I can't wait for New Year's Eve! Ded Moroz (which means Father Frost in Russian) comes and leaves me presents! My family and some of my friends send presents too. 

Do you have any special holiday traditions? What are they? Do your family and friends exchange gifts at this time of year? What are you planning to give? What are you hoping to receive?

Happy Holidays!

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