The sun rose at 1108 and set at 1319. The length of the day was 2 hours and 11 minutes. Cloudy and grey weather, some wet new snow. At the moment the darkness is an ever present feature. You cannot escape it, it surrounds you all the time. Almost up till now I have tried to do most of my important tasks during the daylight hours, like driving - I hate driving when it is snowing and dark, but this week I have realized that it is impossible, there just is not enough light any more.
We have a bird feeder and it is very busy during the day light. I have often thought how the animals cope in the darkness. During autumn, one has to be careful when driving around sunrise or sunset, since all the moose are on foot during those hours, but this does not seem to apply to reindeer, they seem to be on the go even during the night.
Writing a post every single night has become a habit by now. I never realized when I started to write daily, that this would serve as a quiet spot to calm down during this holiday craze. I don't think that there are very many better ways to clear one's mind than staring at an empty, white page and trying to think what has been worth mentioning today.
I was making a list in my mind while walking.
This week all the holiday food has to be shopped and prepared. I need to bake few items, the most important will be a birthday cake for my Christmas girl. (She will be 22 this Christmas Eve.)
The gift situation is quite good, the presents need to be wrapped and I will do that tomorrow. There are few items to think about, but these are minor and I am not going to stress over them.
Decorations are up. Lots of candles have been bought, and there is plenty of dry firewood inside for the fireplace that is not only a good heat source but also creates warm and welcoming atmosphere. There is nothing that gathers people as well as fire in the darkness.
The house is as clean as it is going to be this Christmas. (Except sauna, will need to wash it next week. Sauna is a part of our Christmas traditions.)
Special treats for Tina, Ruusu and Kille have been taken care of.
Candles for the cemetery visit have been bought, but I will need to gather some evergreens yet. (Finns visit cemeteries and take candles there on Christmas Eve.)
My daughter has done the flower arrangements.
There is plenty of laundry, and plenty of ironing next week: tablecloths, napkins, etc.
Sometime ago someone wondered how my children felt when Santa Claus was living almost next door... Since his residence was so close by, we always visited him few weeks before Christmas. The man who was playing Santa then, I am not sure if he is still there, was huge (and also fat, which was appropriate for him) and very nice. Since our visit was off tourist season, he always had time to chat with the girls and he asked them to taste how his wife had done with the gingerbread cookies (piparkakut) that year. He also had time to take them to see his reindeer, so you can imagine, that they believed in Santa way too long.
Santa Claus actually visits homes during Christmas Eve. Also this made sense to the girls, he visits us and then he will fly over to the other places in the world and delivers the presents during the night. None of our visiting Santas were never as big as the guy at the Arctic Circle, but we as humans are good in believing in what we want to and the girls never questioned about him. Of course I would have been quick to respond that he has been so busy during Christmas, that he has lost weight...
I am not sure whether or not I have told you, how the last one in our family who believed in Santa, finally realized, or was told, that there is no such good-doer in the world. Two of the girls had figured it out but I told them that they will have to let the third one find it out by herself and that we have to keep this secret. That special year, my husband dressed up as Santa; we thought that this would be the very last year and that since the two won't believe any more, there will be no damage done if the secret is revealed, and they were all so old already that it would be sort of embarrassing to believe much longer.
So my husband walks in dressed as Santa (he had a beautiful beard and a costume), and before he uttered a sound, this believer looked at me fiercely and eyes burning, and then said out that "I wish that father would stop fooling around and go away, so that the real Santa Claus can come."
We had plenty of explaining to do as she was really unwilling to let go.
Wool, glögi and strength for the coming week!