Ukrainian Christmas fell on January 7th unlike the American December 25th. It was the old tradition our parents respected and adhered to, but more and more we began to follow the American routine.
Oleksandr had a thing for Sosya. He had gotten her a present, but what? We didn’t know, still we were sure that on Ukrainian Christmas he’d be standing with his gift before him. Needless to say, that Christmas Eve, on the last of a school day, she thought he was jerk and tossed his gift the trash from which Oleksandr retrieved it and skulked away.
It happened like this: January 7th fell on a Friday that year and though we had off from school we still had to show up for Holy Mass that day. It was nice having the rest of the day for gift-giving and family visiting. But smirkingly, we all had our eyes peeled for Oleksandr and Sosya.
Sosya was already there, sitting patiently in the girl’s section, when Oleksandr walked in and trod to the boy’s section in church. Their pews were filled with students and mass begun, was celebrated, and came to an end. Everybody was getting up and leaving the church when Oleksandr’s voice rang out, “Xryctoc razdayetsha!” Christ is born!
People stopped in their place and looked at each other, then smiled, greeted each other and went on with what they were doing. But Oleksandr did not wait for Sosya, he disappeared in the crowd of people leaving the church.
Weird, but Oleksandr left Sosya alone after that, not buying her gifts anymore.
Do people change that suddenly? Overnight?
Guess they do…