In this week's Mailbox we quote from Christmas greetings sent in to Radio Prague by Charles Konecny, Ted Schuerzinger and Mike Hughes from the US, and Marcela Ross and Arcadia Wylie from New Zealand.

Welcome to a Christmas edition of Mailbox. This Sunday is Christmas Day in the English speaking world. In the Czech Republic, the 25th of December is known as Bozi hod vanocni, a day on which people visit their relatives and gather around a festive meal of roast duck or goose.

Thank you very much for all those beautiful Christmas cards you have sent us, for example K. Thiagarajan and T. Jaisakthivel from India, Paul Peacock and Ian Juniper from Australia, Al Vybiral and Dale Fisher from the United States, Imran Hassan Qureshi from Pakistan, Jorge Maquerhua Reyes from Peru and A. K. M. Nuruzzaman from Bangladesh.

Many of you have also visited the Christmas pages on our website taken part in Radio Prague's internet Advent Calendar competition. For example Charles Konecny who listens to us in Ohio.

"At this time, my wife (of 45 years), and I, would like to wish all of you in the English Section a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy and productive New Year. I am looking forward to the next year of "Competition". I am also entering the Advent Calendar contest."

From the US state of New York Ted Schuerzinger has sent us this greeting.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to wish the entire staff of Radio Prague a merry Christmas and happy New Year! Greetings from the wintry Catskill Mountains of New York, where we've had multiple nights of -20 Celsius temperatures this week, and are now facing a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. The snow I can handle, but we really don't need sleet or freezing rain before Christmas."

On the other side of the globe, in New Zealand, the weather is quite different, and that's where Marcela Ross is writing from.

"Hi in Radio Prague! Thanks for your yearly input in our lives down under. Thanks for the news, sometimes sad, sometimes crazy, sometimes less understandable (from the political activities) but fresh. With this e-mail we wish all of you Happy Christmas (I dream of a white Christmas...), and for the coming year 2006 all the best in your lives."

Marcela's compatriot Arcadia Wylie needn't dream about a white Christmas, she has made her dream come true by coming to the Northern Hemisphere.

"Hello Radio Prague team, I am here in Czech Republic with my husband. We are in a flat in Ceska Lipa. I love being here this Christmas holiday season to experience "White Christmas" in the beloved country of my husband. Snow is everywhere it is so wonderful to walk around the town and feel the spirit of Christmas this time of the year. I enjoy reading your articles especially the mailbox and ABC of Czech. I find these two are interesting and helpful for me as I am learning the language. It is not easy but I will get there one day. Well, I have to say bye for now and ... "wishing you all the very best for the Christmas holiday season and a happy and prosperous new year."

As a matter of fact Arcadia Wylie is not the only Radio Prague listener who is spending this Christmas in the Czech Republic. Mike Hughes is from Nevada.

"I enjoyed listening to your Christmas Carols from the Czech Republic. We will be visiting our son in Germany this Christmas and will actually be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Prague, as we have never been there. I'm not sure where we are staying but I'm sure we will enjoy the city and people very much. Thank you again for the carols. Vesele Vanoce! (I hope that is correct)."

Thank you and Vesele Vanoce or Merry Christmas to all of you. If you, too, would like to listen to Czech Christmas carols sung by Radio Prague's choir, you can find them on our website at:

And, of course, our listeners' competition continues until the end of the month.

"Our mystery woman was a wildlife conservationist and author who won wide recognition for her observations on animal behaviour in Africa. She is best known for her books, in which she describes the life of the lioness Elsa, raised in the family household and then released into the wild. She was born in the north-eastern town of Opava. She went to Kenya at the age of 27, where she got married and lived for the rest of her life. She died in 1980."

Please send us the name of our mystery woman by the end of December to Radio Prague, 120 99 Prague, Czech Republic or [email protected].