Christmas in Armenia

Gift Baskets for Family
Image by TarynMarie via Flickr

“How did you celebrate Christmas when you lived in Armenia?” asked Albert of his new schoolmate and friend, who had lived in far-off Armenia at one time.

It was the day before Christmas, and both boys had been having a very jolly time looking into the windows of the city’s stores and guessing what they would receive for presents the next day. “Christmas was quite different in our country,” answered his friend. “We had no Christmas trees and no Santa Claus, but we lighted candles and set them, while burning, in the center of our table. “Each child always had a present for each of his friends. Then when these had been exchanged, we would all go around to the homes of our aunts and uncles, or older friends, taking apples with us. Each of our older friends, when we wished them a Merry Christmas, would give us a present by sticking a small piece of money into the side of the apple we were carrying. We always had a very jolly time seeing who would get the most apples stuffed with the precious coins. “Sometimes we collected presents from those who we knew wished to give us Christmas gifts in another way. We would climb upon the housetop and then lower a basket, tied to the end of a long rope, down the neighbor’s chimney. The people in the house had already heard us climbing onto the house and were ready for us. They would fill the basket with candy and otherhomemade gifts, and when we thought it was all ready for us, we would pull it up through the chimney again.

“Your Santa Claus is supposed to come down through the chimney. This was our way of playing Santa Claus to ourselves and to our fri


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