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The holidays are coming

  • 2009-12-17
  • By Anton Ponomarenko

FRESH BLANKET: With the snow sprucing up outdoor activities, indoors you'll find a wide assortment of concerts this season.

RIGA - The freezing cold has at last reached our countries, this past Sunday, and the snow it has brought finally stays on the ground, without any chance of melting. This looks promising and perhaps the streets are still going to be white on Christmas and New Year, but since it’s the Baltics – you never know for sure. But I think that no one will disagree that it would be nice to have snowy winter holidays. This way you can spend your time with your family and friends on a skislope in Milzkalns, sculpt a snowman in a park or even ride a bob on the bobsleigh track in Sigulda.

Other than being ridiculously cold, winter is flawless. It has the longest and the most holidays; it gives you the opportunity to do interesting sports, such as balancing walks and garage cleaning. Moreover, it is a scientific fact that low temperatures have the effect of preserving the human body, so while outside in winter your ageing process might at least slow down, or even stop completely, and shoveling snow makes you fitter than you ever were, so as a result winter makes you stronger and prettier. What’s wrong with that?

Driving is more fun in winter, too. Many people claim that snowy roads make driving difficult and dangerous. Well, they can all take the bus or, better yet, stay at home, and let the people who have a genuine interest in cars, thus being better drivers, enjoy themselves and have all the fun they can get. If you are a 4x4 owner, most definitely winter is the season you’ve been waiting for all year, so you can at last show those pathetic mini-cars why you go through all that misery for 9 months of the year – so that they would see that in winter, what you really need are bigger wheels, a bigger engine and four-wheel drive. You can also combine some of the above-mentioned activities.

To do that, you only need three things: be a citizen of one of the Baltic countries, have a car that’s capable of going off-road a bit and an axe. If you don’t possess any of those, you need some friends who do, and you’re good to go into the woods and pick yourself a Christmas tree that you like the most. You have to bear in mind the restrictions and regulations, such as you mustn’t go further than 1 meter from the road, and some others which vary, depending on the country you’re in. Be sure to check them before you go, so you won’t get fined. But believe me, it is by far more fun than many of the things you normally do. For one, you don’t chop down trees every day, do you? Secondly, this story will have a sequel, when you will go and do a good deed if you’d plant a couple of trees.

They don’t cost much, they’re not hard to plant, but if you do, you’ll have another adventure and you’ll be happy to know that somewhere out there grow several trees that you planted yourself. Being socially responsible feels good. Anyway, even if you’re not that into driving, shoveling or taking down trees, your knee still hurts from last year’s attempt to ski and your kids don’t sculpt snowmen anymore, there are still plenty of things to do. As Christmas is here in a week already, the concert halls are full of joyful shows and concerts, so you won’t have to wet your feet or freeze to death in the woods. Up until New Year’s Eve, there are at least two to three different shows in theaters all around the Baltic capitals every day. Sure, many of them are in local languages, but if you happen to understand Estonian, Latvian or Lithuanian it will definitely be extraordinarily interesting to see a Christmas spectacle with your family or friends, or both. On Dec. 18, you can go to a concert called “Jazz Celebrating Christmas” at Riga Art Room.

The concert will feature Jolanta Gulbe, Riga Groove Electro, Mirage Jazz Orchestra horns, Tjago Loei and Jolantas Gulbes Riga Red Fire choir. They will perform old and new Christmas songs, as well as their own songs. The organizers of the event also promise that there are going to be some musical surprises, as it is Christmas. On Dec. 26, Moscow City Ballet is performing “The Nutcracker” live on stage at the Latvian National Opera, so if you missed the broadcast from St. Petersburg several weeks ago, you can see this adorable and memorable Christmas story by Tchaikovsky, which after nearly 120 years just doesn’t get old. Christmas is near, and you will find endless ways to entertain yourself and your relatives, you just have to be a bit creative. Ask your kids what they want to do, and do whatever they tell you… As this is the last issue of TBT in 2009, all of us want to wish you to have the best holidays in the world, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!