The tree is still up, the stockings are still hung, the lights continue to twinkle, and Christmas music continues to play. We have had all our Christmas decor up since the Sunday after Thanksgiving.........this is always a bit unusual to our Russian friends. Christmas in Russia is celebrated on January 7 but New Year's Eve is actually the bigger celebration. During Soviet times, Christmas was not celebrated so New Year's Eve became the substitution in a sense. On December 31, a big meal is eaten, fireworks light up the sky at the stroke of midnight, and Dyod Moroz(Father Frost) and Snegoruchka(the granddaughter of Father Frost) bring presents. This year New Year's Day falls on a Sunday and even the church we attend is changing the service time to accommodate all those who will be celebrating the previous night! We find it a bit humorous and strange but so it is and church service will begin at 3:00 on Sunday. We will welcome the New Year in quietly at home and I plan on wearing earplugs to bed since fireworks will go off all night long!!!