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In the light of recent holidays I've decided to talk about something that gives our ёлка (New Year's tree) its holiday beauty. Ёлочные игрушки (ornaments) come in different shapes, forms, and colors to satisfy any picky decorator.
In Russian an ornament is more often called игрушка ‘toy’ rather than украшение ‘decoration.’ It turns out that the name came about historically. First игрушки were made out of metal, wood or fabrics, and kids could play with them without breaking them and worrying their parents. Later people started making very thin glass ornaments that could only serve for decorative purposes. (source)
For most Russians New Year's is the most important holiday of the year. We even have a saying «Как встретишь Новый год, так его и проведёшь». It means “The way you celebrate the New Year is the way you will spend the rest of it.” That is why we try to make the best of this holiday to ensure our success in the year to come.
I remember being a little girl and waiting for the New Year. It seemed that even the air outside smelled different, especially festive and solemn. I would help prepare a delicious dinner, decorate «нашу ёлку ёлочными игрушками» “our fir tree with ornaments” and wait for Дед Мороз “Santa Claus” to bring me my presents. What a magical time that was!