The third and final character that I am going to introduce you to for these posts is Marija who is struggling with the idea of a hot Christmas, something that seems quite normal to us Southern Hemisphere peeps! There are lots of other characters to meet in the pages of Empire Day by Diane Chamberlain, not just the three I have introduced you to over the last few days!
Marija Olmanis was thinking about Christmas too. Christmas in Latvia. Walking to church on Christmas Eve on snow that creaked under her fur-lined boots, placing Advent wreaths in the front of her home, watching the mummers who visited homes to bless the occupants and drive out evil spirits. And preparing the traditional food: brown peas with bacon, beef pies filled with cabbage, yeast cake with chopped almonds and cardamon, and ginger biscuits that made the whole house smell wonderful and which they ate with a drink made from honey, cranberries, rye bread and whipped cream. In Latvia, St Nicholas didn't arrive with gifts on just one night, he stopped by every evening for twelve wonderful nights.
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Marija wiped the sweat from her forehead and neck. Christmas in sweltering heat, without snow or ice, skating or toboganning, wasn't Christmas. Even the sky here was different. Whenever she looked up at night, she couldn't find any familiar stars.