Merry Christmas! We've made it the 25 days of advent. (However, technically, I should have started this series on November 27th, the start of Advent in 2011, and today should be day 28. But, I was using the consumer advent calendar.)
For this day, we should all be thankful for our health. For our families. And for our fitness. In Russia, this is the season of the polar bear swim. Which is much more serious than in the west. Hell, there's a long history of polar bear swimming in Russia, starting with the annual baptism on Epiphany of children in freezing water. The priest would have a cross cut out of the ice, and the child would be dunked three timess in the icy cold water.
If you read the book, Empire of the Czar, by the Marquis de Custine (highly recommended, btw), you'll read about an incident he witnessed. He observed a baptism of a newborn. The priest was dunking the child in the freezing water, when the priest's slippery hands dropped the kid into the river. The child's body sunk and went away with the current. The priest turned and stated, "Hand me another."
So, one must be careful when completing polar bear swims in Russia. For the historical reason, as well as more practical ones.