Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, dear friends!

“Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve. We were told that if the children are well-behaved, a Christmas tree flies to them on that evening. … >We are sitting downstairs and having lunch with my grandmother and my godmother, Elena Dmitrievna. The father gets up from the table, goes up to his workshop, and from there comes an incomprehensible but strong noise and crash. Mother exchanges glances with Grandmother and, suppressing a smile, says, “It must be a Christmas tree flying into Dad’s workshop.” My brother and I also look at each other: we believe and we don’t believe. But then the father returns and mysteriously announces: “The Christmas tree has flown in!” And in the evening, it sparkles with lights and smells so wonderful of fresh pine needles. On the Christmas tree there are gilded nuts (they were gilded by the assembled artists, who canceled the drawing meeting on the occasion of the Christmas tree), gingerbread, tangerines, apples, pastila, marmalade, various decorations and toys on the Christmas tree. My father’s pupil Golovin, and my parents and we sat on the ledge of a Gothic cabinet made according to my father’s drawings and preserved to this day in his study in the museum. Probably, there were Korovin, and Levitan, and Ivanov and Arkhipov, and Pasternak (artist)…
Gifts were prepared for everyone, for whom the book he dreamed of, and which he then read aloud together. Yelena Dmitrievna, who began to paint with oil paints, received an easel and a palette with a mustabel.”

The Story of My Life, Part 1. Chapter 1. Childhood. Ekaterina Vasilievna Sakharova, daughter of Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov. 1880s

Photo: Library of the Big House.