Finnish Christmas routines

The Christmas season is notorious for too-high expectations among all family members, big and small. Our biggest celebration is on the 24th December. The two following days are a slumber party at home. By the evening of Boxing Day, everyone has had an overdose of family time and swears that they will never eat chocolate again. If the Christmas tree has not burnt and if everybody is still talking to each other, we can congratulate ourselves for a successful holiday. Here are few informative words to tell what really happens on Christmas Eve in Finland.

If you are a kid

  • Wake up impatient at 6 am.
  • Decide that you want to participate on Santa Claus Hotline (a TV-show, in which Santa takes children’s calls. It runs only on that morning.). Make everyone in your family try to reach Santa with their phones so nobody can do anything else. When you get to speak to Santa, sing a song. This horrible version of Jingle Bells is recorded by your dad and will be later shown to all your boyfriends.
  • Watch The Snowman eventhough you feel like crying at the end.
  • Try to find the good-luck almond hidden in the rice porridge you have for lunch. Throw a tantrum if you don’t find one.
  • Fidget in the Christmas church.
  • Fidget in the Christmas sauna.
  • Barely eat the Christmas dinner because you know that Santa always comes after dinner.
  • Experience how the last hour before Santa arrives feels like 100 years.
  • Open all gifts in 30 seconds.
  • Play the following 3 hours with the wrapping paper and strings.
  • Challenge for the following two days: break the most expensive toy you got.

If you are a youngster

  • Wake up whenever in your high-school museum of a bed room at your parents.
  • Feel a bit irritated and restless because the Xmas doesn’t feel like it used to.
  • Watch The Snowman eventhough you feel like crying at the end.
  • Oh, you got the almond, again.. what a surprise.
  • Skip the church and sauna.
  • Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram. Nothing is happening there.
  • Eat the Christmas dinner until you are about the explode. Then proceed to salt-sweet cycle snacking (When you are utterly full after desert and cannot eat anymore, take a minibreak. Then do this: eat something salty, like a cracker with cheese. Suddenly, you are able to eat some chocolate. Repeat whole evening.)
  • Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram. Wonder how lame things everybody is posting.
  • There should be no gifts for you because every gift you want is actually only available in an online-store and your family sent you the money to buy them yourselves as they feel a bit insecure with buying from those stores and they know, that you may have already changed your mind and want something else. So it’s a win-win.
  • You get pair of woolen socks and a huge chocolate box because you cannot be receiving zero gifts on a Christmas Eve! Did I already write that it’s a double win for you.
  • Insert here a light grin.
  • Watch a movie.
  • Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram. Wonder why you are the only one there? Is somebody actually having fun in real-life and where is that place?
  • Smart move: Call a panic call to your mother before Christmas about how busy you are and don’t know what anybody wants for presents and thus weasel your way out buying presents as she agrees that you can co-give their gifts.


If you are an oldie

  • Wake up at 6 am because you have tons of preparation to do.
  • Get angry with the laptop for not accepting your credit card when trying to buy the last gift. Be sure that now some hackers in that online-store have your credit info and just booked a trip to the Bahamas. Those lucky little vermins.
  • Give all other people distractions (Children: Ipad/TV/Xbox. Men: Some outdoor task of no purpose).
  • Watch the Snowman -song part of the movie. Feel like crying even though you are not able to see the end.
  • Burn at least one dish and linger in stress mode.
  • Remember to hide the almond in the porridge of the person who gets the biggest tantrum. If you are a smart cookie, break the almond into half, exclaim “Christmas miracle!” at the right time and get two happy faces.
  • Look at your family in the Christmas church, all in their own thoughts, and smile.
  • Relax a bit in the Christmas sauna until the youngest of the family pees to the sauna stove and you have to emergency evacuate.
  • Eat the Christmas dinner until you are about the explode. Then proceed to salt-sweet cycle snacking.
  • Enjoy everyone opening their presents. What a joyous experience that always is!
  • Wonder why the hell you spent 120 euros for a talking robot fox when just wrapping paper would have been enough.
  • Play late night card games so vigorously that you get into a game fight with your spouse.
  • Season headache: As there was once again too much food and you do not want to create food wastage: How to force-feed the rest overs as new dishes on the following days to everybody



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