Ukrainian refugees celebrate their first Christmas in UK – BBC

Thousands of Ukrainians fleeing their war-torn homeland are experiencing their first Christmas in the West Midlands.
The Home Office said 5,861 Ukrainians had come to the region in 2022 under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Among those to arrive were Roza and Ivan from Nikopol, who said: "Christmas is beautiful in the UK."
They said all Ukrainians would be making the same wish for 2023 – peace for Ukraine.
The couple are staying with their daughter, Iryna, who had previously settled in Coventry.
They said "everything happened so quickly" after the Russian invasion. The pair lived close to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power station and their town had been heavily bombed.
Roza said they decided to leave on 1 March and it took them 20 minutes to pack their bags with the bare essentials and find their documents before boarding the last train out of town.
They travelled for three days before reaching the Polish border, where they were collected by Iryna and her husband.
Ivan said it had been "a very stressful time" and they had been forced to wait in France for 10 days before arriving in the UK.
The couple said they planned to celebrate Christmas with family in Coventry "in a traditional English way".
As Orthodox Christians, they normally celebrate on 7 January, with dishes including a pudding called Kutia that contains honey, fruit, nuts and poppy seeds.
But this year Ivan said they would be eating Turkey with stuffing and pigs in blankets, adding: "We are going to try Christmas pudding as well."
He also said they would attend a Christmas mass "in a beautiful English church in Monks Kerby village".
Roza said: "We are so lucky that we are going to celebrate this Christmas in a safe and warm house with our children."
But she said many Ukrainians would "spend this Christmas without electricity, without heating and in some places, without water"; some of them "defending our country from Russian aggressors".
She said Ukrainians all over the world would pray for peace this Christmas.
Chris and Lindsey Venables, from Astley in Worcestershire, have two Ukrainian women and two children staying with them.
They will have been sharing the house for exactly eight months on Christmas Day and Mr Venables said the visitors had "become members of the family very quickly".
One of the women, Svitlana, said: "When we came here our life changed, because it's new traditions for us and another language."
Larysa said different traditions were true of Christmas too, explaining: "We have different dishes, usually it's 12 different dishes, and we have special song."
One song is called kolyadka and it is traditionally sung every time someone enters a house, to wish good health, well-being and prosperity.
Larysa said she would normally prepare a "special dinner" of carp for the big day.
Both women have found jobs and the children go to school and they say those who have welcomed them to the UK are "very nice people".
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