Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas from Vladivostok!

Kristen says...

OK so it's a couple days after Christmas (or the day after, depending on what part of the world you are in) but still, the thought behind the expression remains--I hope all of you who read this have had a blessed week, and if you celebrate Christmas, that you enjoyed it to the fullest.

Chris and I had a pretty low-key Christmas celebration this fact, it was the first we've ever spent away from our families, which was sad, but FaceTime and Google Hangouts made it a lot easier!

Christmas always starts a few days early for us because Chris' birthday is just a few days before... (and yes, like me, he turned the big 3-0!)
 We had dinner out with friends then returned home to eat cake...yum
 We had to work on the 24th (something this teacher is NOT used to!) and then were awakened at 5 by an excited dog...of course, he was not excited about what was in his stocking (dog biscuits) but by a trip outside on Christmas morning, then went back to sleep for a few hours until we were awakened again by my family opening presents in Iowa...

It takes about 2+ weeks to get mail from home to here, and the presents that had been sent for me hadn't arrived, but Chris had a few under the tree and in his e-mail inbox, so we were able to take part in the online Christmas exchange.

During that time we also got to watch the beautiful Vladivostokian sunrise:
 Later, after all the gifts were opened we got to work; we decided that we would make all the Christmas goodies we had ingredients for then take plates to the co-workers who were in town for the holiday...
Pretzels with almond bark, molasses cookies and no-bake cookies
Sugar cookies (they later were frosted, but not very well...they're much prettier in this picture!)
Oyster Crackers
 We also made some goodies to keep at home:
Mango pie
Pumpkin pie
 The baking, no-baking and frosting took quite a while, so it was after 5 before we made it out of the house to make deliveries, and due to the heavy end-of-day traffic (most Russians don't really celebrate Christmas, and most that do won't celebrate it until January 7), so our Christmas dinner of corn chowder was delayed until last night.

Not the  most exciting Christmas Day ever, but we enjoyed spending the time together and making new traditions that we can keep when we aren't able to be home for the holidays.

 Of course it was back to work yesterday and today, but next Wednesday starts the Russian New Year's holiday, a week+ break from work and school! :)


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