Every Christmas is a special time for our family, but this year it will be even more. One year ago we were impatiently waiting for our son E to join our family from India. We had been matched but we were forced to wait bureaucracy to run its course. During Christmas half of our hearts were in India with him. This year will mark our first Christmas as a family of four! We are excited to share all our family traditions with E. Decorating, preparing the advent calendar, and going to our favourite Christmas trail. Many places in Finland organise Christmas walking trails (joulupolku in Finnish), where you move from stage to stage and enjoy Christmas-related activities. Our absolute favourite is the one held every year in the island of Seurasaari.
Seurasaari is a magical place all year round. It’s a small island in front of the capital’s coast where time has stopped. It’s an open-air museum where visitors can witness restored buildings and popular ways of living of the 18th and 19th centuries. During summer, the place is famous for the local fauna (squirrels and birds especially) and the uncontaminated nature. The Christmas trail’s day is always in the midst of the dark Finnish winter. The whole island is lighten up with Christmas lights as well as a candle garden. Typical decorations made by wood and stray peek out from the forest trees. Joyful elves stroll around and hand gingerbread to children, and Christmas porridge is offered for free to all kids. Last year the local post company had arranged a workshop for children to send their letter to Santa. R was so proud when she handed hers to the post-officer elf. We watched some short family-friendly theatre representations and listened to Christmas carols. The evening was topped by an incredible fire juggling show.
I cannot wait to see what it will hold for us this year. This is one of our favourite family traditions and I cannot start to explain how happy I am to share all this with E. To read this year’s programme visit the event’s Facebook page and make sure to browse its gallery to see how magical Christmas can be in Finland.