The tradition here is to give bags of biscuits and sweets to the children. Villages organise events and ask members of the local community to donate the bags of sweets. These are then given out to the children, much to their delight.
We raised funds to give brightly coloured draw-string bags to the local school children this year. In each one we put an activity book for them to colour. We travelled to all 7 of the local schools to give the bags to the 300 children. All of the schools are at the end of unmade roads. One was beyond a bridge that was broken, so we had to finish the trip on foot in the mud. The children were absolutely delighted with the beautiful gifts and are making good use of them.
The sponsored children gathered for their gifts on the 23rd December. They were over the moon with the pretty Barbies, lovely lego and swish T-shirts their bags contained. These are the only gifts these children receive this Christmas, so they are very special to them.
Families that can afford it gather together on the night of the 24th December to have a meal together and exchange gifts. Vladimir´s family came to our house on the 24th for an evening meal and to give their granddaughters their dolls.
The 25th is a bank holiday here, and many people will head in to town to buy gifts on Christmas day itself.
The 26th people are back at work... now waiting for the New Year celebrations to begin.