Our Christmas traditions are somewhat truncated due to our impending departure. Last night I did my annual teary reading of A Christmas Memory. Every year, at about the point where they go to fly their kites, I start to sob. This year Chris took over the reading and even he seemed to choke up when Queenie died.
I read on Slate.com that the Christmas Eve tradition in Sweden is to watch Donald Duck cartoons.
"Every year on Dec. 24 at 3 p.m., half of Sweden sits down in front of the television for a family viewing of the 1958 Walt Disney Presents Christmas special, "From All of Us to All of You." Or as it is known in Sverige, Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul: "Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas.""
I found this interesting web site on Finnish Christmas traditions from the University at Jyvaskyla. The sauna was a big part of the celebration. Also this rather scary looking cattle deity.
"After the sauna, people would dress in clean clothes and gather at the table for the feast. The Christmas feast included a variety of breads, lutefisk or boiled fish, mixed herring salad, potato purée and swede purée, sausages, and meat dishes. The dessert was barley porridge. The purées were festive dishes in Western Finland from the 18th century on. Later they became a part of the Christmas feast across the country."
The Times of India reports that the Finnish embassy in Delhi has been celebrating Christmas in a lavish way. I like the reporter's description of the batter for the "yum Christmas cake".
"A MOUTHWATERING MIX: “We’ve mixed black currants, raisins, walnuts, almonds,
and dry lemon pieces, altogether weighing around 500 kilos along with 30 litres of liquor including brandy and rum,” said Chef Devinder Kumar. The batter will be used to bake the yum Christmas cake."
This description brings me back to Buddy and his friend rounding up their windfall pecans and HaHa's precious whiskey for their Christmas gifts. And here the tears might start to fall again. I know I will cry tonight during the pageant. I will cry again when we leave Sheba at Lory's, but I am truly looking forward to our trip to Finland!
I omitted an important Christmas tradition for Turku: The declaration of Christmas peace. The City of Turku has declared Christmas peace since the Middle Ages. You can watch the program here: www.yle.fi/joulurauha Thank you to Deb for alerting me to this important festival.