The Night Before Christmas

New Year celebrations are a big deal in my country: for about ten days after it, no one is working as people continue to celebrate. On the 6th of January, the day of Orthodox Christmas Eve, everyone usually stays at home with their relatives. Still, that day my friends and I ended up in some really absurd situation. Every year, we go to my best friend’s holiday cottage with a group of people to have some fun and isolate ourselves from the world for a little while: there is no internet connection, only a sauna, and lots and lots of snow all around. This place happens to be in a forest, but there is a village relatively nearby. We had a really nice time there but on the second day, we ran out of cigarettes and food. As it is quite hard to plan everything for a big group of people in situations like this And having no other options left, we decided to go to the village mentioned before and try our luck to find a shop which was still open. This was quite a cold day, around 20 degrees below zero so this quest was anything but pleasant. Having walked for a while through the forest, we stumbled upon an almost empty village and the only local shop, which looked smaller than my room in The Hague and happened to be closed. At this point, we did not feel like giving up and as we were near the highway, the connection started to work. We came up with the idea to catch a taxi to get to the other village, where there should have been an open shop. That is when difficulties started: as I mentioned before, the whole country was celebrating the holidays, so few taxi drivers were willing to work that evening. After 20 minutes, a taxi driver called Sergey, agreed to drive us to the next village and wait while we shopped because getting lucky a second time with a taxi that day would have been an unrealistic scenario. Feeling relieved and grateful to Sergey, we got back to the place where we left to face another challenge: the gate from the village to the place where my friend’s house was located was closed. We were thinking of climbing over it but it was too high and we also had bags with products. We had no idea how we could possibly get back and who closed it as it was the first time it happened. We were freezing when we found the only house nearby with lights. After all those Netflix series about serial killers it was really scary to ask for help from strangers, but what did we have left to do? We could not reach the windows of the house through the fence so we looked around and found a half-broken Louis Vuitton slipper, which we used to knock at the windows. The man was surprised to see a few girls on Christmas Eve on his doorstep. Luck was on our side that day as he knew who was in charge of opening the gates. He called Olga, who manages the village but she was out of the place and gave us the contact of the watchman named  Albert. It took us a while to convince him to come, we kept repeating that we needed to get to the street ‘Urotschashiy sapog’ (a really weird name which can be translated as ‘the boot-shaped point of meeting’) but he was as confused about it as anyone hearing how that place was called for the first time, let alone how three young girls ended up there on Christmas Eve. To our luck, eventually, Albert The Watchman agreed to help us: even though being a bit tipsy, he came in his Raspberry ‘Lada’ (a famous car originally from the Soviet Union period) with his wife and kid to our rescue. As we spent a lot of time outside that day, we were freezing and one of my friends heroically asked Albert if he could drive us back to our house. However, the man was already a bit mad that we disturbed his family on Christmas evening and gave us a lecture about how we should not have been there in the first place and should have dressed better for such weather. But in our defense, when we went to the shop we could have never expected things to turn this way. Albert’s wife, on the other hand, had more empathy for our story and convinced her husband to drive us to our house. So my friends and I ended up sitting near a huge chandelier at the back of their car. This was the weirdest Christmas in my life. The whole situation reminded me of some Christmas tales of Gogol, where Mother Theresa took the weird form of Albert’s wife. One thing is known for sure: it seemed a lot like a miracle the night before Christmas back then. 





Find us on Instagram @basis.baismag


Comments are closed.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: