Chichilaki—Georgia’s Shaved Christmas Tree

Doing 6-7 days worth of the 12 Days of Imported Christmas every year (this year we could actually get all 12, you never know) has changed our YouTube viewing habits. Gordon regularly types in “Christmas in [country]” just to see if there is anything we need to try. When he pulled up Christmas in Georgia, the first video was of a wizened old man using a draw knife to make long curled ribbons out of a willow branch. We knew immediately that we would be making Chichilaki.

On the First Day of Imported Christmas, Gordon made a Chichilaki out of a branch pruned from my parents’ apple tree and I made a tiny tree skirt to go with it.

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Churchkhela—Georgia’s Christmas Candle Treat

If you ever go to a street market in Tbilisi, Georgia in the fall or winter, you will see bundles of lumpy purple candles hanging in the stalls. Thought they may look waxy, those hanging candles are actually churchkhela, a delicious Georgian candy made of nuts and fruit juice.

On the Sixth Day of Imported Christmas, we tried churchkhela. Because this treat has spread to other countries in the region, we were able to find some at our local Middle Eastern market. But if you have some time on your hands, you can also make your own.

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