News 31.12.2023
5min read

The Heartbeat of Our Christmas Tradition

In the enchanting embrace of December, a month that carries whispers of magic akin to softly falling snowflakes, we find ourselves traveling to a time when winter was a canvas for familial bonds and childhood joys. It’s a season of snug sweaters, shared moments watching Christmas movies, and the timeless warmth of Nana’s hand-knit creations.

For those who have been part of our journey over the years, you’ve witnessed a tradition close to our hearts – the organization of charity tours. During this time, when the essence of the festive season is rooted in human connection, safety, and positive vibes, we find joy in visiting our dear Chornobyl family members.

Each visit to these resilient grandmas and grandpas feels like a homecoming, a return to a place where warm hugs, radiant smiles, and the shared joy of being family resonate in every encounter. As they affectionately call us their grandchildren, we are reminded, “We are home.”

Christmas 2023

This year, like the previous one, was difficult for everyone living in Ukraine. The second year of the full-scale invasion showed the strength and resilience of Ukrainians, an indomitable desire to help all those in need, and a strong people connection. This is best felt during this magical period of Christmas. 

As the world gathers around the warmth of festive lights and the cheer of holiday melodies, our hearts are drawn to a unique tradition that resonates with the spirit of giving and connection. 

ImageChristmas charity with ChernobylX, December 2021.
Photo: ChernobylX archives

For 5 years, we, ChernobylX team,  has embraced a Christmas tradition that goes beyond the conventional festivities, reaching into the heart of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone – visiting Chornobyl self-settlers. This is not just a season of festive decorations, it’s much more.

More about our previous Christmas visits:




In the face of the current impossibility of tours to Chornobyl, our connection with the Exclusion Zone remains unwavering. 

Regrettably, we were able to visit extended only to two self-settlers, our beloved Valentyna Borysivna and grandpa Mykhailo. The constraints posed by Zone restrictions limited our interaction with the many babushkas we yearned to embrace. 

Traditionally, we visited them to wish them Merry Christmas and happy New Year, bring some supplies and spend time together.

ImageGrandpa Mykhailo lives in Chernobyl town. A former school teacher met us with a big warm smile. May the season bring him the same joy that he has shared with us!
Photo: ChernobylX

After entering the city of Chornobyl, we immediately went to our beloved grandfather Mykhailo. Driving up to his house, we saw this incredibly bright smile, he just came out to do some stuff around the house when we arrived. We were happy to see him doing well, as last time we visited him a long time ago. 

ImageGrandpa Mykhailo showing his museum.
Photo: ChernobylX

Mykhailo is an incredibly interesting person, who was a school teacher in Chornobyl school. He has an interesting museum, where he collected various rarities from the times of the Soviet Union and World War 2, he calls his museum the pearl of his hobby.

ImageSome exponats in Mykhailo’s museum.
Photo: ChernobylX

Mykhailo lives alone. His wife died many years ago, but he didn’t lose his happiness and sense of humor. When we asked him how he’s doing, we got traditional answer:

“Oh, I’m great! I have so much to do around the house that I have no time to be sad or in a bad mood. Chickens need to be feeded, gardens need to be cleaned. So much work!”

We were always impressed by the energy and motivation that these people have to do so many things. Doing something, being on the move, feeding chickens – that gives Mykhailo and other self-settlers reason to live. 

ImageValentyna Borysivna and her singing dog Dana
Photo: ChernobylX

Of course, we were able to visit our most famous grandmother of Chornobyl – Valentyna Borysivna and her singing dog Dana. Valentyna stays in Chornobyl town with her daughter and best friend dog Dana. 

ImageValentyna Borysivna, December 25, 2023
Photo: ChernobylX

In our previous visit, our dear babushka had some health problems, but this time she feels much better and happier. Valentyna is doing well, the only thing she misses you, our dear Chornobyl lovers

ImageGiving humanitarian help to the Chornobyl NPP workers, December 2023.
Photo: ChernobylX

Also, your support has allowed us to extend our Christmas visit to the Chernobyl NPP workers and thanks to your donations brought them needed products!

We are infinitely grateful to you, our Chornobyl family, as your support has made these visits possible, allowing us to share moments of love and joy with our cherished babushkas. 

 Your belief in our mission empowers us to make a real difference in their lives!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from our ChernobylX family to yours! May the coming year be filled with joy, love, and the comfort of cherished traditions. 


P.S. During this chilly Chornobyl winter, make sure to share a warm hug with your granny and grandpa.

Warm regards,
The ChernobylX Team




If you waited for a sign,
this is it...

You are using an outdated browser. You can update it on this page.