THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Local Pastors ViewMeaning of Christn
Considers Russian Christmas
By HARVEY MOLOTCH I
"The biggest holiday in my
country is the anniversary of the
November revolution, but I like
this holiday better, University stu-
dent Lev Kostikov of Moscow said,
referring to the USSR's secularized
version of Christmas.
Kostikov will be separated from
his wife and young son this year,
but he and fellow Russian student
Pietr Arkhipov are considering a'
trip to Washington, D.C., and New
York over the Christmas recess.
Although "religious people" at-
tend mass on Dec. 25, the official.
celebrations take plane on Jan.
1 and 2, Kostikov indicated.
New Year's Day
The government has transferred
the traditions of Christmas to the
New Year's holiday and has thus
promoted participation by all reli-
gious groups, Harold E. Swayze
of the political science department
who recently studied in the Soviet
On New Year's Eve, Russia's
Santa Claus, "Dog Mopez" (Grand-
father Frost), dressed "exactly
"inl hi rnio ~tn irir
and thus even children can not be
convinced of a Santa entrance
"Big Santa" who stands for the
old year, is aided by "Little San-
ta," a child .dressed in white, who
represents the coming year. Usu-
ally, Big Santa presents Little
Santa with a key or other momen-
To Hold Sings
Just before he departs for
Christmas vacation, the Ann Arbor
student may inflate his lungs with
a caroling and folk singing ses-
sion which traditionally takes
place in Ann Arbor the Thursday
evening before vacation.
The Folklore Society, in a pro-
gram to take place at 8 p.m. in
Aud. A will feature Christmas
songs of many lands performed by
several of its members, followed
by an all-audience sing.
to to "open the new year," Kosti-
Christmas trees, decorated with
lights, grace each home and the
labor unions erect large trees of
their own. Parks are illuminated
and special recreation areas for
children's sports are set aside.
In the schools, the Konsumols
(official student organizations),
have special programs and take
charge of decorations.
Theatres, movie houses, and con-
cert halls hold special holiday
productions which are always "hu-
moristic." Movies run. special
children's shows daily from 9 a.m.
to 2 p.m. until the schools reopen
about Jan. 15.'
On New Years Eve, friends and
relatives gather for a night of
merrymaking usually lasting until
8 a.m. Guests .converse, sing and
generally make merry until about
11:45 p.m. when everyone turns on
the radio to hear an official gov-
At midnight, "We listen to the
Kremlin bells" which officially ring
in the new year, Kostikov said.
By RICHARD OSTLING
Beneath tinsel and holly, Christ-
mas stands as one of the two
great religious celebrations of the
calendar for millions of Christians
the world over.
"Whether a person believes the
story of Christmas or not, he must
admit that it is a terrific event,
even as a hypothesis," the Rev.
Fr. John F. Bradley, chaplain to
Roman Catholic students at the
"If this was not just the birth
of a great person, humanly speak-
ing, but the birth of God on earth,
as we believe, it is the cause of
great meditation. The story has
kept its depth for almost 2,000
Not Fairy Tale
"The Birth did not begin as a
fairy tale of a folk culture, but
with the sin of our first parents
(Adam and Eve) and the merci-
ful promise of God that this sin
would be conquered through a per-
son born of a woman."
Beginning with Genesis 3:14,
Father Bradley traced the prom-
ise, first written about 32 centur-
ies ago, through the prophecies of
Ezekied, Micheas, Daniel, and Da-
"The birth of Christ was the
climax of centuries of preparation
so that the mind of man could
distinguish it from nere myth-
ology," he said.
At Christmas, the chaplain sees
some who gaze and scoff and con-
tinue to do the work of men, and
some who are affected momen-
tarily by Christmas. "Others
kneel, knowing that God came
with the power to make anyone
a new and divine creature."
To the Rev. Leonard Verduin,
minister of the Campus Chapel,
Christmas commemorates the cen-
tral event of history.
Identifies with Man
"In the incarnation," he ex-
plained, "God identified with the
human race in its moral predica-
ment, to help it from without
and from within.''
"For me, the emotional residue
of Christmas is gratitude to God
and hope for the complete recep-
tion of his great Gift--an un-
daunted hope born of the con-
templation of the magnitude of
the Gift bestowed."
Mr. Verduin is not opposed to
the "human relish" that has ac-
companied the season. "The en-
riched human relationships at
Christmas indicate the Divine-
human relationship which precede
The pastor of Grace Bible
Church, the Rev. William C. Ben-
nett, also mentioned the coming
of Christ to meet men's basic
"The season is important be-
cause this Person has brought
such a change to my own life," he
"Much tradition has grown up
around this central remembrance
of the birthday of the world's
Saviour. It is a time for singing,
rejoicing, and adoration.
"The messages and the music of
the traditional carols reflect what
I feel in my own heart, and thus
I can sing them with more feel-
ing and significance."
"Christmas is a time to praise
God, to re-echo the angel's Ain-
nouncement: 'For unto you is born'
this day in the city of David a
Saviour which is Christ, the Lord'
and to bind together family ties."
Might Obscure Meaning
All three men were concerned
that emphasis on the trimmings
of Christmas might tend to ob-
scure the meaning of the day.
Mr. Bradley pointed out that
"nationalistic . customs from all
over the world have been combin-
ed in this country in an overpow-
The scurrying and work may
pull us away from the main idea,
and since children grow up at
Christmas with the Santa Claus
myth, there is,a danger that the
whole of Christmas might be
viewed in mythical and not real
terms, Mr. Bradley added.
lie hnis American counerpar, meanwLe , undler the auspices 'Ypaaaa'
enters the home laden with gifts of the Women's League, rosy Amid shouts of "Ypaaaa!" (Hur-
idr the family's children, the Sov- cheeked carolers will gather on the rahhh!), corks pop from the
let visitor commented. Diag to hear and sing along with champagne bottles and guests be-
The youth, often dressed as several of the University's musical gin a rr~rning of singing, eating,
animals, wait tensely, anticipating organizations in an annual event and partaking of a variety of
the all-important knock on the which promises to be a gay fare- wines
front door. Most Muscovites live well for the homeward-bound stu- wine.
In cimnyles aartmnt ouss dnt.The traditional food is "goose
In chimneyles apartment houses dent. with apples inside," although there
is noting similar to the American
Thanksgiving ctom where
"everyone has turkey."
Retaining the broad smile which
accompanied comments on his
favorite holiday, Kostikov told of
the custom of Russian sleighing.
Three decorated horses, hitched
to a gaily colored sleigh, offer
rides to the merrymakers who
dress in heavy deliberately-old
clothing for the event.
Adding to the joy of the season
For the most beautiful is the fact that everyone receives
pay for the two working days
and gracious ideas for your missed when all factories, offices
aIoand stores are closed.
Christmas giving, do your But those whishing to attend
church on Dec. 25 must apply for
looking and shopping at the permission to be absent from work
and receive no pay for the day
John Leidy Shop. missed.
The same situation exists for
members of the Russian Orthodox
Church who celebrate the birth
JOH N L E I D Y of Christ 13 days after the holiday
' Udate observed by the rest of the
Phone NO 8-6779 0 601 East Liberty Christian world.
But Russian churches are usually
filled "because there are so few
- - a '**.p- i y .,: ;- *of them,! Swayze commented
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NATIVITY SCENE-The portrayal of the birth of Christ In small displays or creches is one of the
many customs which illustrate the serious religious side that many Christians find in Christmas.
TellsHow To Beautify Gifts
By PATRICIA O'CONNER
A set of teeth, a pair of scissors,
and ten adept fingers can elimi-
nate one of the problems of Christ-
mas - the problem of wrapping
Aunt Jenny's apron and Uncle Ed's
After the frustrating experience
of battling throngs of Christmas
shoppers to procure the gifts, the
idea of wrapping them often ver-
ges on the unappealing, but in the
words of Mrs. Maxine Carter,
veteran gift wrapper at a local
store, "It really isn't difficult at
The first rule for easy gift wrap-
ping must be borne in mind while
one is shopping. It is "if it can't
be boxed, it shouldn't be bought,"
Mrs. Carter said. This applies at
least to the novice, for an object
such as a lamp brings cries of
woe from even the old-timers.
With the gift then conveni-ntly
placed in a box, the next step is to
wrap the box in the traditional
Christmas paper. One mistake of-
ten made at this point is allowing
too much paper. This causes the
folds to be bunchy.
With these pitfalls avoided and
the paper successfully applied, the
novice may stand be ^k and admir e
his handiwork for a moment, Mrs.
Carter explained. This is to re-
affirm his self-confidence in pre-
paration for the most challenging
aspect, the creation of a suitable
A very pretty and practical bow
is the "pom-pom." The first step
in making the "pom-pom" is to
wrap approximately three yards of
ribbon in a circle, the size of which
is determined by the size of the
The circle is then flattened and
tightly grasped in the center. The
outcome of the bow depends on
the next step, which consists of
cutting as deeply as possible into
the center of the ribbon without
cutting through it.
A thin strip of ribbon then comes.
into service to bind the center of
the flattened circle at the point
whene it has been cut.
At this crucial moment, with
one of the hands occupied in hold-
ing the flattened circle and the
other pulling on one end of the
thin strip of ribbon, the teeth may
be employed to pull the other end
of the thin strip. The rest is easy.
Each individual section of rib-
bon on each side of the center
binding spot is pulled out and
twisted alternately right and left.
With the bow attached to the
package, the gift is completely and
beautifully wrapped. The novice
may place it underneath the tree
and happily retreat "for a long
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