Christmas Outfits

I am bringing my guest post home.
I am so excited to be part of such a fun series. I am Ukrainian, born and raised in the former Soviet Union. Most Ukrainians belong to the Russian Orthodox denomination (Ukrainian Orthodox church is not formally recognized) and we celebrate Christmas on January 7th. I wish I can talk about all the wonderful Christmas celebrations I had as a child, however religion was strictly forbidden in the Soviet Union. "Religion is Opium for Masses," and, "Don't place your faith in God, place your faith in agricultural engineering," were some of the popular slogans.

But traditions are hard to obliterate completely and people still celebrated. On Christmas Eve, people gathered for a special meal of 12 vegan dishes. The symbolism of 12 dishes was completely lost on me. On Christmas day, children went caroling before going to school. I was a painfully shy child and no amount of candy could  entice me to carol. In the evening, children brought traditional Ukrainian bread, kalach, to Godparents and received small gifts in return. My Godparents lived in a different city and I never met them.

I just realized that my story sounds a bit depressing. Don't worry, we were not deprived. We did have a big celebration similar to Christmas in the West, with Christmas trees, gifts, parties and all the decorations, except all that happened on New Year's Eve. Growing up, I loved New Year celebrations. There were huge parties in schools and community centers. All the girls were dressed as Snowflakes, all the boys dressed as... Well, I actually didn't ever paid attention what the boys wore. :) Santa Claus never came to our part of the world. Instead, we had Father Frost and his daughter Snegurochka (literally meaning "made of snow"). Don't ask what happened to the Mrs.; nobody knows.

On New Year's Eve I was allowed to wear make up and to look glamorous. My mom would let me play with her make up and wear her super expensive French perfume. I was in heaven. One year, I think I was in fifth grade, I wore a dress made of the shiniest polyester with lurex thread  in it. It sparkled and shone with every move and I felt like a movie star. It also generated  enough voltage to shock anyone who approached me within a meter. By the end of the night, I was seriously concerned that it will ignite and set me on fire. The adults would party into the morning, drinking and singing and dancing. And the kids would stay up until we would collapse and fall asleep in the middle of a dance move and would need to be carried to bed. Father Frost always left small gifts under the tree to open in the morning.

When I thought what to make for children, I wanted to recreate the fun outfits I wore as a child. Something sparkly and glamorous, something adults could wear. For Ania's dress, I cut up an adult dress. Ania doesn't like to wear dresses, but I knew she would love anything that sparkles and makes her feel like a little Princess.

For Maksim's outfit I wanted to make a vintage looking shirt. The pattern came from this book. When I saw the book, I instantly fell in love with classic vintage designs for boys and girls. I really wish I can recommend the book, but, alas, I can't. In my opinion the book has one of the worst drafted patterns I have encountered. There just too many errors to list, which is too bad because I love the designs. The pants were another refashion. I just loved the wool fabric. I used one of the Ottobre patterns to make them. I was able to save the awesome pockets in the front.  He loves his whole outfit, and refused to take them off.

Thank you so much for inviting me, Suz! I am honored to be in such great company.


  1. So interesting Olga to read! Your outfits are awesome too!

  2. Wow. I can't believe how different the holidays were in the USSR. I have never thought how it would be without all of the extra fluff us Americans like to throw into Christmas. The dress is stunning and the shirt/pant combo is darling. Great Job! Thanks for the honest review of the book because now I will put it on my never want to own list.
    With Love,

  3. lovely post. Never knew the differences in celebrating Christmas in then-USSR. Very traditional and less of the commercial - that is how I like it!

  4. Interesting read, and love the outfits:)

  5. Lovely reading, I'm always interested in knowing something more about the bloggers I virtually know... it makes me feel like I know you a little bit more!
    Anya's dress is really interesting... I could wear it me too!!!
    Hugs xox

  6. Great photos! It's as if the children would speak.

  7. I saved this post in my phone to comment later. I was on vacation when I read it and with a slow (very slow) Internet conection.
    Thank you for share with us. It´s interesting to know how Christmas and others celebrations are different in every country. I had the pleasure to celebrate the last Christmas in warm weather with long nights and kids opening gifts at midnight.
    About the dress, is so pretty and was so funny read that you don´t remeber boys outfit. ;)


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