Just a quick note.
Read today in the news about the continuing devaluation of the Russian ruble and had read also recently about how the world economic crisis was going to end up affecting Russia. Since the country depends so much on the export of natural resources (oil and gas) for its foreign exchange balance, and with the collapse of prices for those commodities in the past six months as the world passes into a global recession, Russia is not going to be immune from the troubles, despite its huge cash reserves amassed over the past few years.
30 December 2008
Now that we are in a new century, the celebration is on January 7th. When I was much younger, and my family celebrated the holiday (My grandparents emigrated from Russia in 1912), it was always January 6th; it simply is a matter of different calendars in use by the orthodox and western churches. Anyway, the rule of thumb was that it always snowed on Russian Christmas, but the last few years that has not been the case--it's been more like a tropical day in the Eastern US.