Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Holidays to You all!

Here we are, Christmas Eve has dawned, the weather is nice, it is -11°C; it is definitely White Christmas over here. Everyone is still asleep while I am writing this, I have few chores left and I want to take time to do them in quiet and just savor this moment when everything is just about to begin.

The house is clean enough, although one cannot eat from the closet floors nor can I see my face mirrored from the kitchen sink. I tried few new things for the table, some of them turned out very well; one ended up in compost heap. I have a feeling that I managed to get and make few treasured presents. Really all that matters now is what happens next.

From the mood of the maker, I will move into the mood of the enjoyer. I will put aside the critical me, and instead will be gentle to me and others. I am extremely lucky to have all the girls home this year, to know that they are all tucked into their beds upstairs, makes my Christmas.

Soon we will gather up to eat Rice Pudding together. According to the tradition, one almond should be hidden into the kettle and the one who gets it, is going to get married next year. When the girls were little, I used to hide 15 almonds into the kettle to make sure all of them would get many and be excited and happy. Ever since they have insisted that there should be many, so it is never just one. Then we will watch TV together to see how The Christmas Peace is declared from Turku (Finland) where we used to live and where all my girls were born. The tradition of reading the Declaration of Christmas Peace in Turku dates back to the 1300s and has continued almost uninterrupted. Since 1886 the declaration has been read on the balcony of the Brinkkala Building in the old market place. When living in Turku, we went to the market place to hear this in person. In 1989 I listened this on the radio while in the delivery room, I had Sonja later on that day and I remember when I heard the first words of the declaration: Tomorrow, God willing... I thought that tomorrow, God willing, this pain is over. The current form of the declaration is from 1903.

 "Tomorrow, God willing,
is the graceful celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour;

and thus is declared a peaceful Christmas time to all, by advising devotion and to behave otherwise quietly and peacefully,
because he who breaks this peace and violates the peace of Christmas by any illegal or improper behaviour shall under aggravating circumstances be guilty and punished according to what the law and statutes prescribe for each and every offence separately.
Finally, a joyous Christmas feast is wished to all inhabitants of the city."
From then on I will be busy in the kitchen to get everything ready for the night. Traditionally thousands of saunas all over the country are prepared and heated. Going to Christmas sauna is most likely even longer tradition than the Declaration of the Christmas peace.

In the evening, we'll gather to eat and talk and to share presents. We open each present in turn, so that we all can see what each one is getting and get to see the surprised face.

When all is eaten, said and done, I take my Mom back to town and we will go and visit the cemetery to light candles there. Late in the evening, almost everyone has already been there and the place is glowing with candles. The sight is absolutely breath taking.

This all is yet to come. It is still early morning. Ok, I will go and start my day now. Before I go, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the kind comments and for coming to read. Your kindness over the month has made my December better than I could have imagined beforehand. I have loved getting back to blogging and I am coming back in just a few days. Thank you so much.

Here is a huge hug for you all from me and Ruusu.
I wish you all merry, merry celebrations and festivities, and

Wool with you,

Lene

56 comments:

  1. Dear Lene,

    Thank you so very much for all the wonderful posts - they made my day and were savoured for a quiet moment with a coup of coffee and christmas cookies.


    I just watched a documentary about the artic circle and seem to see everything with different eyes now...

    A very merry Christmas for you and your loved ones and a happy and healthy New Year!

    Andrea from Germany (+ 15 C)

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  2. Rosemary09:42

    Wishing you a joyful Christmas xxx

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  3. Merry Christmas!

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  4. Shan09:57

    Here is New Zealand, we're basked in sunshine and warmth. I always long for cold and dark Christmas. Ah well ... may joy be with you for Christmas.

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  5. Merry Christmas, to you and yours, Lene. I have so ejoyed your advent posts.

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  6. Lene, your post made me laugh (all those almonds!) and also brought tears to my eyes. I am so glad you are enjoying blogging again, as your blog has always been one of my very favorites. Peace and joy to you and yours this Christmas :)

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  7. Marie11:08

    Merry Christmas for you and all you love!
    Thanks a lot for your Advent Calendar. It was a pleasure to read you.
    I remember one, some years ago with a picture every day. :-)
    It's the first time, I write a post, but I am a very old reader of your posts.
    Belle et douce veillée de Noël à vous et tous ceux qui vous sont chers!
    Marie

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  8. It has been a joy to read your blog posts - Happy Christmas to you and yours.

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  9. Jeannie11:24

    Thank you for sharing your Christmas traditions with us!! Merry merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  10. Anonymous12:18

    A very happy christmas from Provence, I enjoy reading your words :)Gaidjin

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  11. Merry Christmas! xo

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  12. Christmas Greetings to you in Finland from Switzerland - where it is not at all white this year (+10°C!)

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  13. Christmas wishes to you from the middle of the U.S. Your blog brought tears to my eyes. May the world take a moment to count our blessings and be at peace. I enjoy your blog very much.

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  14. And wool with you - I have so enjoyed your Advent posts!

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  15. You worry too much about eating off of the closet floor! That sounds like some sort of punishment. It sounds like your family Christmas will be beautiful.

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  16. So glad you are blogging regularly again. I enjoy your posts so much and faithfully read each one, even if I don't comment. Wishing you and yours a lovely Christmas from Maine (where, much to my distress, we have no snow).

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  17. Thank you for sharing your December with us.

    Wouldn't it be lovely if there could be peace everywhere, even if just for one day...........

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  18. Dear Lene,
    Merry, merry Christmas to you! That Christmas sauna sounds awesome, I wish I could be there too ;-)

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  19. Merry Christmas Lene and thank you for your Advent posts. They have been a bright spot for me each day. How wonderful that all your girls are home. Your traditions sound wonderful --lots of almonds...too funny! And the Christmas Sauna - love that idea. Looking forward to reading your posts when you return.

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  20. Anonymous16:06

    Thank you for all the December blog posts; they have been a gift that started each of my days.I hope your day is just as lovely as it has been described by you and that the new year brings you nothing but joy.
    Merry Christmas, Lene.
    Denise in Ohio

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  21. I just recently discovered your blog, and it has become one of my favorites. This post is one of the best I've ever read, and though I am somewhere that is unseasonably too warm, I can feel that I am where you are, with the Declaration, the pudding, the candles, everything. Thank you for that.

    Merry Merry Christmas to you and yours! Please give your pup a kiss from me, and enjoy your family holiday time.

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  22. Have a very Merry Christmas....I have loved reading your posts the past couple of weeks...I have not been blogging as often, since this summer, but I hope to get back to it....our performance went well...they were tired by the second performance,but if you are interested in seeing it...it is on YouTube...https://youtu.be/6VVTaiQ6ctM.......my students are in the back row and perform the first play...there are four small plays and two songs....

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  23. You have made my December with your posts, and this one is especially beautiful. I will put aside my critical self and be gentle with myself and others. I am also extremely lucky to have both of my sons home this year, and that also makes my Christmas. Wishing you and your family much Christmas joy, peace, and love!

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  24. I have so enjoyed reading your advent posts and learning about Finland. That in itself has been a wonderful Christmas present. God's blessings to you and your family this special season.

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  25. Beth in Maryland18:22

    Thank you for this lovely post... I picture it all in my mind. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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  26. Have a lovely Christmas. Have enjoyed reading about your traditions. No white Christmas on the East Coast of the US...in fact, it is 21C (70F) right now with a morning thunderstorm. Very crazy weather. May the new year be a happy and healthy one for you and your family.

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  27. I love reading about your life and your surroundings; thank you for sharing your Christmas Eve with us. Blessing on you and yours.

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  28. Anonymous19:45

    What a treat it has been to read your December Blogs. First thing I opened up on the computer every morning.
    Please post as often as you can, it is such a pleasure to read about your world.
    Thanks. Ann from Western Canada where there is tons of snow on the mountains.

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  29. Thank you Lene for sharing your December with the world. I swear one day I will have a Christmas sauna!
    Hugs, Alice in Virginia USA

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  30. Merry Christmas, Lene. May the love and warmth you have shared with us during this Advent season reflect around the world and inspire us all to peace and kindness.

    Carol in Texas

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  31. Anonymous22:42

    Have loved seeing all your blog posts!! Wishing you the Merriest of Christmases and a very happy New Year full of adventures :) Enjoy the snow and being together with your girls.
    mk
    p.s. the tradition of going to the cemetery and lighting candles sounds wonderful!

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  32. sandra23:37

    Happy Christmas!!! Thx for the blog :D

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  33. Gretchen23:43

    Merry Christmas Lene!

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  34. While waiting for winter (it's like late spring here in Vermont) reading your December posts and seeing your wonderful winter weather has made this month much more like the December it should be. Thank you for sharing details of your life, your beautiful knitting and crafts, your photos,and your world above the Arctic Circle. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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  35. And a Happy Christmas to you.

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  36. Thank you for sharing your beautiful holiday season! I do not celebrate Christmas but greatly enjoyed the gift of your meaningful holiday preparations. Your blog post is a wonderful gift each day. Thank you.

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  37. Merry Christmas to you and your family, I enjoyed your December posts immensely!

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  38. Madeline05:11

    I agree with my fellow commenters: it has been wonderful to follow your joyful Christmas preparations during December. It all seems so calm and peaceful in northern Finland. Merry Christmas, dear Lene, to you and your family, and with very best wishes for a wonderful new year!

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  39. Thank you. Merry Christmas!

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  40. Anonymous14:28

    Thank you from Queensland, Australia. Merry Christmas :)

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  41. Nancy18:35

    Your blog is a joy to read, Lene! Thank you, and blessings and peace to you and your family.

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  42. Merry Christmas from Georgia, USA. Thank you and best wishes for 2016.

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  43. Anonymous21:36

    What a wonderful gift to have all your girls home. Peace and Love.
    Helen

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  44. Dear Lene, I wish you and your family Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!!! I so enjoy reading your blog! Keep it up, it brings joy to many.
    Kind regards,
    Claudia

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  45. Anonymous01:00

    Loved reading your post written in the quiet of the morning, before the day unfolds. I would love to visit Finland someday. Thanks for sharing your world with the rest of the world.
    Diane L. in Bloomington,Indiana where I am waiting for a REAL snow��

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  46. Anonymous01:49

    Lene,
    Happy New Year and may the new year keep your family safe and healthy.
    Peace and love, Deb

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  47. I have THOROUGHLY enjoyed your December blogging. Thank you and very Merry Christmas!

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  48. Merry Xmas Lene Alve and all from a small island far away, and yet close in heart!

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  49. Anonymous23:58

    Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you and your familiy
    from a silent reader from Luxembourg

    Jeannine

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  50. Anonymous03:41

    Thank you for your blogging. Happy Holidays and have a happy 2017.

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  51. What a beautiful post to come to after taking a few days hiatus from online activities. Thanks for sharing Finland's beautiful Christmas Declaration that has been pronounced since the 1300'.
    I hope your days have been filled with laughter, peace, and an abundance of joy celebrating Christmas AND your daughter's birthday.

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  52. I love your blog and I have loved reading about your Christmas traditions. Praying your day was filled with laughter and joy that will spill out onto 2016!

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  53. I love your blog and I have loved reading about your Christmas traditions. Praying your day was filled with laughter and joy that will spill out onto 2016!

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  54. I also love hearing about your quiet world of sewing and nature. Peace and Joy to you. Cindy in Seattle Washington

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  55. Dear Lene, you fulfilled your stated wish "... this place to be a place of calm and hopefully of joy."

    Thank you so much for taking the time, making the effort, and sharing yourself. Wishing you a Very Happy New Year.

    Marsha, coastal Washington state.

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  56. I gave your post to my husband to read, telling him, "this is why I read blogs" We were both very moved by you words. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. Happy new year from Canada.

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