The day before Archbishop Khajag Barsamian’s visit on December 27th, the kids decided to help with the preparations. First, they accompanied the staff of the FAR Children’s Center on their shopping trip for groceries. Upon their return, they divided into groups to prepare festive dishes. Some of the children took over the hot dishes, the rest did the salads. Another group was responsible for the preparation of cake and sweets.

It was rare to receive an in-person visit from the Archibishop, who is head of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) and President of FAR, and the children were especially excited for such a huge celebration. They presented a performance that was dedicated to Christmas and the New Year, which called for tolerance and love across the planet. Their performance was followed by a festive dinner with His Holiness Barsamian, which included a discussion about the meaning and significance of New Years and the sacred value of the Christ’s birth. The children asked many questions.

At the end of the day, the Archbishop presented gifts of winter clothing, shoes, and nightclothes to the kids. Then the celebration became even merrier with a visit from Santa Clauses and the snow maidens who were sent by Javahir Tsarukyan, founding member of the Children’s Center Council of Friends.

The kids at FAR’s Mardigian Children’s Daycare Center in Tavush Province had a similar day when Santa Claus and the snow maidens paid a visit to spread some holiday spirit and merriment in time for their New Year celebration. During the event, the children put on a show about the meaning of the Navasard, the Armenian New Year of ancient times, and Christmas, before playing, singing and dancing with Santa Claus and the snow maidens.