Ten favorites of a very traditional Finnish Christmas
1. Santa Claus
Santa Claus (Joulupukki) brings the gifts for children and nice adults on Christmas Eve. It is considered as a good manner to to accept gifts as well as give gifts to family members even if today nearly everyone has everything they need. Well, needs are still different, so is the way families want to wish from Santa Claus.
2. Christmas tree
Christmas tree (joulukuusi) is brought from the forest or bought from markets and will be decorated with old family decorations and flag ribbons. It used to be a competition who dares to cut a fir tree from somebody else's forest!
Some (men) came home on the afternoon and said they found a nice fir for Christmas. - From where? No one told it.
3. Ginger breads
Ginger breads (piparkakku video) baking brings Christmas taste and smell to every home. Even at this moment the dough is hardening in the fridge and waiting for baking. The dough should be very thin when baking the nice ginger breads.
4. Christmas Sauna
Most of the Finns go to the Christmas Sauna (sauna) on Christmas Eve or just before or after Santa Claus comes to your home. You also can order a Sauna wagon (Sauna mukaan) to your temporary house or where you stay at Christmas. Or just for fun to your home!
5. Ham steak
Ham steak (kinkku video) at the Christmas dinner and lunches before Christmas is rather compulsory. Some habits from abroad have brought new ways to eat Christmas dinner, but that traditional big ham steak is mostly roasted in the oven at home and eaten with other compulsory salt salmon and vegetable "boxes".
Gifts (lahjat) are for giving and getting and bought or home-made just before Christmas. Many people also want to give money to Red Cross or other organizations. There are no big difference between people in Finland, so there are not so many poor or so many rich people. The Finns are very equal in that sense.
7. Christmas carols
Finnish Christmas songs (joululaulut), are sung in homes, schools and concerts. There are some iconic songs the Finns sing at Christmas. Many famous singers like to make their own Christmas songs which we love. Yle´s Jouluradio you can listen
8. Christmas morning service
Christmas morning service (jouluaamun jumalanpalvelus) in the churches gather a lot of people who want wake up early. There is a habit that people go to church when there are two candles on every window showing the way to church early in the morning. Many people listen to the radio sermon.
9. White Christmas
White Christmas with a lot of snow (Valkea joulu) in Finland is guaranteed at least in the Northern Finland. The snow covers and lightens the scenery in the dark Nordic whether. Also the stars and Polar lights enlighten the darkness of this cold Nordic country. We love this change of light and dark.
10. Christmas Together
Christmas brings family members together (joulu perheessä) even from the other side of the globe. Mostly. What makes Finland warm? It is Christmas time and being together with people we love and care about.