Love is expressed in little things.

At the end of the year, looking back, we express our gratitude and best wishes to all friends and partners from Romania, the Netherlands, the USA, and other countries – to everyone who has supported us with their helping hand during these challenging times and helped us to be safe.

In our tradition of celebrating Christmas and New Year, we share kindness and care, eat something tasty together with our families, spend time with our loved ones, go to the church, sing carols. And we would like to share a bit of this warmth with you.

In many ways, our traditions are similar with other nations in Europe and around the Globe. Together with our children, we prepare gifts, decorate our homes, and try to show love and attention to those dear to us.

In our community center at the border of Ukraine and Romania we set up a Christmas tree, which was quickly decorated with handmade ornaments and decorations created by the children and educators from the kids’ club.

The air was filled with the scent of gingerbread and baking. Our home for Ukrainians was filled with people, each bringing their warmth to the festive atmosphere.

Marina, who works with the kids’ club, remembers: ‘I just gave the kids the stuff, and then each of them had fun decorating.

They signed each toy with their name. The kids made them with happiness and love.’ Funny that one of the little girls found her toy on the Christmas tree and kissed it out of joy!

To share warmth with as many friends as possible, we organized a contest for children’s drawings for Christmas cards. All participants received prizes, and the authors of selected drawings also got additional rewards.

The Christmas cards surprised our teachers and partners with the level of creativity. Elena – the art teacher notes.

“For me, working with children is not a job but rather a pleasure!
Their sparkling eyes filled with enthusiasm, joy, and interest – it’s all wonderful!””… I was surprised by the independence and creativity of each kid in choosing the subject for their drawing or card They’ve learned a lot over the past year, and I’m proud of them.”

Christmas is not only a holiday for children. Parents expressed interest in Romanian Christmas traditions. We organized a meeting with a Romanian Orthodox priest and a good friend of our community, Father Catalin Vatafu.

As always, with warmth and love, he prepared a small presentation about Christmas in Romania and invited a wonderful professional choir. It was touching to see how similar Ukrainian and Romanian cultures are: geographical neighbors, shared faith, shared history… It felt like caroling was breaking down all barriers!

Every child loves games and movement during the holidays! We created a wonderful performance with the participation of Ukrainian and Romanian children.

The New Year musical, ‘The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats,’ with singing and dancing from our kids, was memorable for everyone! Actors of all levels took part in the performance: from adults and teenagers with professional dances to little five-year-old children. In total, more than 140 children participated in the event, and each of them received memorable gifts.

Nothing takes you back to childhood like the smell of freshly baked Christmas gingerbread cookies! For our friends and partners, we crafted, decorated, and festively packed over 500 sets of traditional Christmas gingerbread cookies. Olga, a member of our community, used to bake gingerbread cookies in Ukraine and has now taught her colleagues in our team. She says, ‘Making a Christmas gift brings great joy! Christmas is a festival of Light, and I really want to share this light with someone! For a woman, traditionally baking and, through that, giving warmth is a long-missed ancient tradition. If a woman is baking, it means all family members are healthy, there is something to bake with, meaning there is peace in the family;
we also hope for peace in Ukraine! As women and mothers, we want to thank the Romanians who have shown us and our children an example of hospitality and love!’ In the community center, we’ve all known each other for a long time and become friends. We’re not just colleagues; we’re all like one big family, and at Christmas, as you know, the whole family gathers together!’ Olga shares her joy.”

Despite the diversity of traditions and cultures, common human values unite us all.
Celebrating Christmas and New Year in Ukraine, as well as in other countries, reflects a similarity in our aspirations for happiness, love, and mutual understanding.

Whether we live in Ukraine, Romania, the Netherlands, or America, exchanging kindness, love, and respect makes our lives richer and more harmonious. May these shared values be the foundation for our collective further development and mutual understanding.




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