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What You Need to Know about Sending Gifts to Russia for New Year and Christmas Holidays

If you are sending gifts to Russia or flowers to Russia this holiday season, then there are certain customs you should know before you arrange a delivery. Most notably, much of the nation celebrates the winter holidays in January. While most Americans celebrate Christmas at the end of December, many Russians observe Russian Christmas on January 7th, and practically every Russian celebrates the New Year in grand style.

Because the Russian Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar to determine religious holidays, some Russians celebrate Christmas on January 7th. December 25th celebrations are commonly referred to the Catholic Christmas holiday (even though many protestants celebrate on this day as well). Knowing which time period your recipient celebrates can help you time your gift delivery to Russia correctly. However, a time of universal celebration is New Year. It is actually the more widely and extravagantly celebrated holiday. Therefore, a great alternative to sending a Christmas gift to Russia is to send a general holiday gift or a “New Year gift” that can be used to celebrate the New Year.

When Russia was a part of the Soviet Union, Christmas was not widely or openly celebrated. As a result, New Years celebrations became much larger and came to include gift exchanges and New Years trees. However, after the fall of Soviet Union, Christmas began to be openly celebrated again. Even today many Russians refer to their trees as New Years trees and their gifts as New Years gifts.

On Christmas the family gathers around the table to honor the coming Christ Child. A white tablecloth is used to symbolize Christ’s swaddling clothes and hay is displayed as a reminder of the poverty of the place where Jesus was born. A tall white candle is placed in the center of the Table, to symbolize Christ – the “Light of the World.” A large round loaf of “pagach”, a special Lenten bread, is placed beside the candle to symbolize Christ – the “Bread of Life”.

The father begins the Christmas meal by leading the family in the Lord’s Prayer, a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessings of the past year and for the good things to come in the new year. The head of the family greets those present with “Christ is Born!” – the traditional Russian Christmas greeting – and the family responds with “Glorify Him!” The Lenten bread (Pagach) is then broken and shared. The bread is dipped first in honey to symbolize the sweetness of life and then in chopped garlic to symbolize life’s bitterness. The “Holy Supper” is then eaten. Traditionally, it consists of 12 different foods, symbolic of the 12 Apostles. After dinner the family goes to church for the Christmas Mass which lasts until after midnight.

Both New Year and Orthodox Russian Christmas involve feasting and presents exchanges between friends and family members. New Years is generally a bit grander holiday celebration with more focus on drinking and large gatherings. For this reason, food and spirits make great gifts for the holiday season—favorites include chocolates, cakes, cookies, roasted nuts, fruit, wine, cheese, caviar, Champagne, spirits, and a variety of other gourmet treats. For many people, the holidays are a time to indulge in rich or expensive foods and drinks that they normally do not consume.

With all this in mind, sending a gift basket to Russia or sending flowers to Russia is a great way to celebrate the holidays, even when you cannot be with your loved ones. Many business owners also take advantage of corporate gift baskets for the business associates during the holiday season.

RussianFlora.com is a great resource for gift and flower delivery to Russia. Their 2008 Christmas/New Years catalog is filled with gift ideas that are ideal for friends, family or clients. If you want to send food, they have the VIP Tray, which includes a variety of imported cheeses, fruits, roasted nuts, and tons of other gourmet goodies. To celebrate the festive New Year, they have their Holiday Champagne and Chocolates Tray, which includes two bottles of bubbly and three boxes of assorted chocolates. Or if you’d rather send a Christmas-themed gift, try their charming Mini Christmas Tree potted plant, or the Santa Gift Bag, which is a stocking stuffed with tons of goodies for children.

The online gift and flower delivery company is offering a special promotion just for the holiday season: order before December 14th and receive 10% off of any order over $99 USD. Whether you are looking for that perfect Christmas gift or a New Years delivery, planning your holiday gift-giving to Russia should be a snap this year!

About Russian Flora:
Russian Flora specializes in high-quality, affordable gift  and flower delivery to Russia , CIS and Eastern Europe. The company works directly with established, local Russian florists to offer deliveries within 24-48 hours of submitted orders. After the founder and owner David Skol experienced firsthand that many of the existing delivery services to Russia provided either low-quality or over-priced flowers and gifts, he decided to provide a U.S.-based service that would provide the type of service he believed was lacking. Learn more at www.RussianFlora.com.


Contact Information
David Skol
Director of Marketing
RussianFlora.com
+1-888-294-9941
[email protected]

Tips for Sending Gifts to Russia for the Catholic Christmas Holiday

Those who have business associates, family members or a significant other living in Russia or parts of Eastern Europe should be aware of the differences—or some would say complexities—of the season compared to the Christmas season in the United States before sending a holiday gift or flowers to Russia.

When Russia was a part of the Soviet Union, Christmas was not widely or openly celebrated. As a result, New Years celebrations became much larger and came to include gift exchanges and “New Years” trees. However, after the fall of Soviet Union, Christmas began to be openly celebrated by many. Some Russians celebrate the holiday on December 25th, while others celebrate on January 7th because the Russian Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar to determine religious holidays. December 25th celebrations are commonly referred to the Catholic Christmas holiday (even though many protestants celebrate on this day as well).

When sending a Christmas gift, any time between the middle of December and just before January 7th, you’d better schedule your delivery. However, if you know that recipients celebrate on December 25th, then earlier is better. Gift baskets and flower arrangements sent to offices can be delivered even earlier as employees generally have time off for the holidays.

The Catholic Christmas celebration includes a mix of religious and cultural traditions. Generally, families and friends meet to exchange Christmas gifts and to feast. Food and spirits make great gifts for the holiday season—favorites include chocolates, cakes, cookies, roasted nuts, fruit, wine, cheese, caviar and a variety of other gourmet treats. For many people, Christmas is a time to indulge in rich or expensive foods that they normally do not eat.

St. Nicholas is an important Christmas-time figure in Russia. During communist rule, Grandfather Frost (Ded Moroz) replaced the icon, but today you’ll see many decorations featuring St. Nicholas again. Christmas trees, generally triangle shaped evergreens, are decorated with ornaments and lights each year. Additionally, the colors red and green are used for decorations, clothing and holiday wrapping during the season while poinsettias and other red flowers are commonly used for decoration.

With all this in mind, sending flowers to Russia or sending a gift basket is a great way to celebrate the holidays even when you cannot be with your loved ones or if you have international business associates. When you send a gift overseas, it is best to choose a reputable company that specializes in gift delivery between your country and your recipient’s. RussianFlora.com is an example of a company that specializes in gift and flower delivery to Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe, so they carry Russian favorites in traditional Christmas colors and styles.

Russian Flora Adds to the DIY Craze with Their Online Build Your Own Bouquet Service

Welcome to Russian Flora, where you can easily build your own bouquet to create a unique and personalized floral gift. Our bouquet builder service allows you to select your favorite flowers, customize the arrangement, and add thoughtful touches to make your gift truly special. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply showing your love, building your own bouquet with RussianFlora ensures that your gift will be as unique as the person receiving it.

With the popular D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) trend, many consumers feel that making gifts and household items is not only enjoyable but also more personal. Russian Flora, an online, international gift and flower delivery company, joins the trend with its BouquetBuilder tool, which allows customers to virtually create their own bouquets.

Select the flowers you want to gift and build your own bouquet with Russian Flora.

Russian Flora Offers Digital Photography Services with Gift and Flower Deliveries

CAMBRIDGE, MA, November 5, 2008—When an individual sends a gift or a flower arrangement, the sender is often left with questions—especially with international deliveries: Did my gift arrive? Was my recipient happy with the gift? Does it look like the online catalog picture? Were fresh, high-quality products used? Was it delivered to the correct recipient?

Russian Flora identified this problem and developed an innovative solution: gift givers can now receive a digital photograph via email of their loved one receiving their flower delivery. This service not only provides an answer to all the above questions, it also provides a concrete, emotional keepsake of the special delivery.

The company’s main client base is made up of Russians living in the U.S. as well as Americans, Western Europeans and other foreign individuals who purchase gift baskets and flowers for loved ones in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which includes Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Georgia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and Turkmenistan. Because of the immense distance between the giver and the recipient, a digital picture can be an important factor in bridging the distance between the two. “When sending flowers to Russia, our clients find that receiving a photograph of the recipient really captures a special moment and creates a lasting, emotional memento,” says David Skol, Founder and CEO of Russian Flora.

When ordering online, some customers find themselves wondering if the gift from the Russian florist will actually look like the picture in the catalog. Without a photograph of the final product, that is difficult to determine—even with a description over the phone. A digital picture can confirm proper flower delivery to Russia. Plus, the gift giver can see the recipient’s initial reaction. This is so important with different time zones making thank-you phone calls difficult.

A large percentage of Russian Flora’s client base is made up of 27-55 year-old males who are romantically involved with a woman living in the CIS. Because many of these individuals initially meet via the Internet, the company’s digital picture service also serves as a covert identity screening. The sender can verify that his romantic interest matches her description.

“A surprisingly large number of identity scams occur via the Internet between American men and Russian dating scam artists. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of this. A digital picture can serve as a screening device early in the relationship. If the recipient is not who she says she is, the gentleman can get out of the relationship before any harm is done—and if she is legitimately who she says, then she will be thrilled to receive a gift delivery,” says Skol.
Since the introduction of Russian Flora’s digital picture service, the company has seen an overwhelming positive response, with approximately 72% of gift givers electing to use the service. To purchase this service, customers select flowers or a gift on RussianFlora.com and add the digital picture option for $9.99. Service is currently offered in most serviced cities.

Because some recipients decline the request for their picture to be taken, the gift sender is not charged for the picture at the time of placing the order, rather the billing occurs within 24 hours after order delivery.

RussianFlora.com is soon planning to launch another unique service: digital video of delivery in most serviced cities.

About Russian Flora:
Russian Flora specializes in high-quality, affordable gift and flower deliveries to Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe. The company works directly with established, local Russian florsts to offer deliveries within 24-48 hours of submitted orders.  After the founder and owner David Skol experienced firsthand that many of the existing delivery services to Russia provided either low-quality or over-priced flowers and gifts, he decided to provide a U.S.-based service that would provide the type of service he believed was lacking. Learn more at www.RussianFlora.com.


Contact Information
David Skol
Director of Marketing
RussianFlora.com
+1-888-294-9941
[email protected]

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