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I am agonizing over what to give the child. I have been to plenty of christenings and I typically give money.

This is a different situation because I am a bit closer to the family than normal. I want to be more generous than I usually am. I will still give money, but I want to give a gift to open. Do you have any advice? It's a boy...


Active member
I would definitely give some money, and maybe a religious gift? I've given an icon, cross, that kind of thing.


I think you should find out what baptismal name he is taking (or being given) and then I would buy an icon of the saint he will be named after. You can also ask the parents for suggestions ...

Greek Pomegranates Tradition for Christmas

Pomegranates are associated with Greece during Christmas, and I never quite understood why. So I looked it up! Here is some information from my notes - feel free to chime in and add anything Im ay have missed:

In Greece, one of the most prominent traditions is the use of pomegranates. The pomegranate is not only a symbol of Greek culture but is also associated with the story of Persephone, who was allowed to return to her mother, Demeter, after eating six pomegranate seeds.

They are used to decorate homes, tables, and even churches. Greeks believe that the pomegranate symbolizes prosperity, good luck, and fertility. It is also believed to bring good health and protect against evil spirits.

During Christmas Eve, Greeks use pomegranates to decorate the traditional Christopsomo, which is a type of sweet bread that is baked in a round shape. The pomegranate is placed in the center of the bread, which is then sprinkled with sesame seeds and decorated with a cross to signify the birth of Jesus Christ.

Another tradition involving pomegranates is the game of breaking them open. Greeks enjoy playing the game where they throw a pomegranate to the ground, and whoever is the first to break open the fruit will have good luck for the entire year. Greeks believe that the more seeds they find inside, the more luck and prosperity they will have in the new year.

Pomegranates are also used in the Greek Orthodox Church during the blessing of the waters ceremony. This ceremony takes place on January 6th, which is the day of Epiphany, commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. The priest throws a cross into the waters, and young men dive into the water to retrieve it. After the cross is retrieved, the priest blesses the water with holy oil and a pomegranate. The pomegranate is then thrown into the water to bring prosperity and good luck to the community.

Decorating Greek Paper Boats at Home

I love the Greek tradition of decorating paper boats, and I thought it would be a fun project to do at home for the holidays. Called karavakia, the boats were used as a gift to sailors and as a token of good luck for the new year. It's a popular tradition!

How can I do this at home, any advice? Here is what I think I will do:
  • Make boats out of paper - start by folding a square piece of paper in half diagonally. Then, fold the bottom corners up to the center and glue them down to create a diamond-shaped base. Fold the top corner down about an inch, and glue it down. Fold the two side corners inward towards the center and glue them down. The result should be a paper boat with a triangular sail.
  • Decorate it however I want - I like glitter, ribbons, stickers, etc.... I love glitter!
  • Some traditional ways to decorate - Cut out small triangles from colored paper to create a festive sail, then glue it onto the triangular sail of the boat.
  • Be sure to tie a string to the boat, and your karavákia is ready to be hung up or placed on a windowsill

I found this video with visual instructions for making the paper boats. It's hard to describe with words!

Explaining Philotimo to a Non Greek

Philitimo is a concept that most of us in Greece and in the diaspora understand intuitively.

I have had nonGreek friends ask me to explain it.

How do you explain it? I usually work around explaining it by giving some examples (Ochi Day, Thermopylae, etc)...

I know there's no real equivalent word in the English language.

What are your favorite Greek Christmas traditions?

I plan to incorporate some Greek Christmas traditions into our celebrations this year. I live in the United States.

What are some of your favorite traditions?

So far I am learning about - the tradition of decorating boats, to kalanda, pomegranates, and traditions associated with the Orthodox Church.
Share and discuss Greek traditions related to Greek weddings, christenings, dance & holidays!

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