Ok, ok, so maybe it's a little early to be decorating my blog like it's Christmas. I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet! But in the United States, once Halloween is over, the store decorations and street decorations change to a Christmas theme. This is not true in Moscow. In some stores I have seen small "Christmas" sections, but it is nothing like the overboard decorations, Christmas music, and overall sentimental feeling of stores, streets, and people in the States. So, I guess I'm working toward creating that feeling for myself. The weather helps because it is cold, and I associate Christmas and Thanksgiving with snow. (Side note: There is still no snow on the ground.) I also associate Thanksgiving and Christmas with family and close friends, so being in another country for the holidays will be a little difficult. The upside is that I am not the only native English speaker sticking around for the holidays, so we will have a pseudo-Thanksgiving (probably not on Thanksgiving because we will all have to work), and we will at least have a nice lunch together on Christmas.
So, you may be wondering ... why are things different? Why wouldn't Russia celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas? Well, Thanksgiving is an American holiday, and Christmas is a Christian religious holiday (so yes, some people do celebrate Christmas, but it's not as we know it in the states). Here they do the presents and the tree for New Years - a holdover from the secularization of Soviet times.