New Year is a time of new plans, hopes and expectations. This is a time of celebration for everyone, and especially for children. Today we talked with a talented girl, singer-blogger Anastasia Valavanidou from Greece and asked her about the peculiarities of celebrating the New Year in their country, who she writes letters to and what gift she is waiting for under the Christmas tree.
Anastasia, what does New Year mean to you?
For me, New Year is a special holiday. The most favorite holiday of the year. And the New Year is also joy, kindness, love and also sweets and Santa Claus. I really love the holiday atmosphere, decorations and New Year’s colors — green and red. And I also don’t have to go to school (Laughs).
Which holiday do you look forward to more: Christmas or New Year?
I like both Christmas and New Year. They give lightness and a smile. This is a time of joy, and a time when I don’t need to do my homework, because I have a lot of it every day.
What are your family traditions?
Before the New Year, we all decorate the house together. We bake traditional cakes, we call it chureki. In one of them we put a coin, it says Happy New Year. If you find a coin, you will be happy and joyful all year long. I make New Year’s cards and send them to everyone I want to congratulate. And on New Year’s Eve, the whole family gathers at a large table. If someone does not come, then they will be punished (Laughs). We cook a lot of goodies. We turn on the first Greek channel, watch New Year’s programs, have dinner, and laugh a lot. Mom and dad dance. And we also definitely communicate with relatives from all over the world via Skype.
In Greece, snow is a rarity. Do you generally like snowy weather or don’t you associate New Year with winter?
Now the weather is changing a lot. There was snow in Greece last year. I really love winter weather. My friends and I go out for a walk in the park. I sculpt Bobby, well, that’s what I called him, it’s a big ball with a face like a smiley. A lot of snow is promised in Greece this year. I love when it snows on New Years.
What winter hobbies do you like?
Since I really love to draw, I draw a lot of winter pictures, as well as Santa Claus and Christmas trees. I make greeting cards for the family. And one year we made balls for the Christmas tree, which I painted myself. And my brother and I baked toys for a Christmas tree in the form of Christmas trees, animals and caramels in a dough oven, and then we painted them. Well, as I said, I like to walk with friends in the park and play snowballs.
Do you have holidays at your school for Christmas or New Year?
Oh sure. There is always a beautiful Christmas tree at school, everything is decorated. We make decorations for the class. In addition, each class prepares Christmas decorations for one large school tree, which everyone admires. Every year at our school the fabulous New Year’s performances based on books are organised. The last time I was a girl who helped in the search for Santa Claus. And at Christmas we sing carols at school.
What’s your favorite holiday movie or cartoon?
I love the movie «Home Alone». He was very smart and strong if he could save his house from thieves. It’s probably a shame to say it when you are 11, but I love the New Year edition of «Masha and the Bear». I can tell you the whole story, but you better watch it, it’s a lot of fun.
Do you write letters to Santa Claus or Santa Claus?
Yes, I write letters to Santa Claus. I would very much like to know where he lives and where to find him. Last year I asked him for a book and my wish came true.
If it’s not a secret, what wish did you make this year? What gift are you waiting for under the Christmas tree?
I cannot tell you, otherwise it will not come true, but I will definitely show you and tell you what Santa Claus brought me under the Christmas tree. I ordered three gifts from him.