Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy New Year (old style)!

don't mean to confuse you... but since i didn't get to post a Happy New Year message this year- i am wishing you Happy New Year old style!!  in Georgia, they celebrate New Year twice (any extra reason to drink that sweet wine):  first traditional New Year with the rest of the world and then old style which falls on January 14th.  it's a two week difference between the Julian Calendar and the Gregorian Calendar (thus Christmas in Georgia is celebrated on January 7th). 
my family used to put up a traditional Christmas tree (which was much smaller than one you see in American homes).  there we had to call it a New Year's tree.  i miraculously still have some of my childhood ornaments.   before my parents moved to the U.S. they had visited me several times.  each time bringing something special like these ornaments below:
little red riding hood;  though broken (i patched it up) - still beautiful

on the left Grandfather Frost and his grand-daughter Snegurochka (these are actually from Russian folklore, not Georgian)

more Soviet era ornaments

these five ornaments above are of U.S. and German origin; purchased by me two years ago here in Tn

besides the traditional Christmas tree in Georgia they are now trying to revive an old custom of putting up a Chichilaki tree.  Chichilaki is usually carved out of a haselnut branch and is decorated with dried fruits and sweets.  speaking of sweets, my favorite Christmas treats were Gozinaki (wallnut brittle) and Churchkhela (wallnuts strung on a thread and dipped in grape juice mixture multiple times).

Chichilaki tree

Churchkhela and Gozinaki - Georgian treats made for Christmas and New Year

now, living in America, i celebrate Christmas just the way everyone else does.  with gifts and all.  honestly, i enjoy it less and less each year due to the pressure associated with gift-giving.  i'm trying to do all possible not to raise little brats who don't have any idea about reality.  at the same time i want my children to enjoy their childhood.  do you face the same dilemma?

Cordell's note to Grinch (he punched a hole in the paper and hung it on a tree with a piece of yarn):  "to Grinch, don't ruin our Christmas.  would you like if i ruin your Christmas"

 i paint ornaments for my Etsy shop;  here Cordell painted an ornament like a rainbow

below are musical wind-up toys i purchased for my kids at a  Tn state fair.  aren't they something?!  the solder on a rocking horse is broken but still moves and plays music!  they all move and play music when wound up.  i think little drummer boy is my favorite of them!

this video of how one man makes Chichilaki tree is long, but it may teach you something about humility.... sorry, i don't know how to shorten or edit youtube material.  the man in the video speaks in Georgian dialect i don't understand but thankfully there are subtitles:


  1. Fabulous information about your homeland.
    We do not go mad about Christmas presents...It is more of enjoying the fact that we are together.

  2. Wow!!! I loved learning more about you and your heritage, that was wonderful. Have a great weekend.

  3. When we moved from NC to ohio somewhere along the way we lost our decorations that the children had made over the years. Every year this is still so sad and sick about it. I've had then take their old photos of childhood and make me more LOL. So I get the sentiment of these things:) Yes, everyone could use a good dose of humility...this world sometimes is all about "what can you give me" attitude. Hope you're feeling better!!!!

  4. I would like some Gozinaki, please.
    I hear you on the Christmas dilemma. My daughter is young enough that she's just starting to understand Christmas, and my husband and I are trying to figure out how we want to merge different family traditions, tame religious difference and tone down materialism. It's possible, I think, but it's a challenge.

  5. Your ornaments are beautiful! My husband only has one from his childhood and it's so beautiful! They don't make ornaments like that here. We also celebrated New Years since that was what my husband and his family always did. :) I have the same worry about the holidays - especially since we are celebrating twice! I told my family that it is one gift each and plan on taking my son to a womens shelter that I work with each year to donate toys he no longer plays with. Hopefully that will teach him to appreciate what he has?

  6. Maya those ornaments are so stunning <3

  7. Happy New Year to you too and glad everything went smooth with your procedures. I love the vintage ornaments. We also had a tree we called 'new year tree' in turkey when I was growing up. It was a small tree that went on the table which my mom had brought from U.S. it didn't even resemble a real tree but I loved it and still do because of its memories. And those ornaments. they all mean so much to me. My family in Turkey still uses them so I don't have them but I can still remember each one.
    The other tree looks very cool. Are you doing that tradition with your kids?

  8. I agree about Christmas ! My daughter said that this year they had less gifts than others. I shrink a little bit and told her that her gifts were better this year and that she got what she wanted and she should be happy about it. So hard. I used to have only one gift for Christmas in France ! And i was so darn happy each time !
    Loved your Grinch note HAHAHA
    I love Antique ornaments, your are so lovely !
    I am your newest follower. So happy you find me. Your blog is so lovely and i enjoy that you are from Europe :)
    Come say hi when you can :)

  9. Oh and thank you SOOOOO much for voting for me !!

  10. Beautiful ornaments! And I got a good chuckle from the note to the Grinch. Happy New Year! :)

  11. mixaria ro qartveli xart da miuxedavad imisa rom shors imkopebit saqartvelodan ar ivickebt chvens tradiciebs da kulturas carmatebebs gisurvebt.p.s.elene saqartvelodan,tbilisi

  12. Thank you for sharing this, Maya. Lovely ornaments and traditions! xo



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