In Finland the most important day is Christmas Eve. In the morning I cooked some rice pudding and I had also my children at home eating it. We watched on TV when the Christmas Peace was Declared in Turku. It’s an old tradition in Finland and we live about 7 km from where it happens but we have always watched it on TV.
After that the children decorated the Christmas tree. The picture of the tree is what they accomplished. It is very typical; we do not use more decorations to let the tree show. It is fresh, bought from a friend of my godson.
At 4 pm we went to my mother’s place to have the Christmas dinner with my sister’s family. The Finnish traditional Christmas meal consists of pork, many different casseroles: potato, carrot and Swedish turnip (I can’t believe Swedish have got credit for that too), salads, fish etc. Turkey is very new in a Finnish table.
After the dinner we sang some songs and went together to the cemetery to light candles for my father and my grandmother and aunt. They are all in the same area, no grave stones, just a beautiful peaceful area with many candles and flowers. My brother-in-law took a picture with his Nokia phone. The picture is amazingly good regarding the circumstances.
Then we all headed to our homes to open the presents. We used to do that together too, but now that the children are grown-up, we have agreed on doing it this way. We have altogether minimized the amount of gifts.
My most amazing gift is shown in the pictures. According to the label I save 500 plastic bags a year. My daughter has found it in www.mulletoi.com. It is a very interesting web store. The page is in Finnish but you can get the idea by looking at the pictures. mulletoi is not official Finnish; it is spoken language and could be translated as “give me that” or “I want that”. Mulle toi does not have a verb at all and a translation is hard because of that.
Christmas Day and Boxing Day we relaxed and had fun with the kids. We played Singstars and Buzz with PSP2 and also a board game my son got as a present: Ticket to Ride. It was fun. The version was in Finnish but we played in the USA map. The game was chosen as the Game of the Year 2005 here. The bad thing was that I lost. It was my tactics: I was too cautious and did not take any risks!