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,