Marja-Leena Rathje
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Christmas card


As mentioned previously, my current art work is centered around images of hands with objects. Thus came the inspiration for this year's Christmas card, with both our granddaughters' hands holding a Nordic straw Christmas ornament. Giving a gift. I designed, printed and mailed the cards to family and friends around the world. And here is the online version as my gift to all of you, my dear friends and readers, with many thanks for your friendship, support and visits throughout the year!

I plan to keep this on the top of the page until the New Year. New posts that may come forth during the busy holidays will appear below, so please do check back now and then. Enjoy your holiday preparations and have a safe and joyous Winterfest.

From the archives, cards from Christmases past:

2011 - solstice and yule time
2010 - Happy Christmas, Hauskaa Joulua
2009 - happy winterfest
2008 - season's best to you
2007 - good tidings
2006 - love, peace & joy
2005 - Merry Christmas, Hauskaa Joulua
2004 - My favourite things

Marja-Leena | 18/12/2012 | 26 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Current Events, Home


Here's hoping you and your family have a jolly festive season and a lucky 2013 also!

A unique and beautiful card! Thank you for another year of wonderful images and ideas and exciting discoveries. Wishing you and your loved ones Frohe Weihnachten und 'n guuuute Rutsch, dear Marja-Leena!

yes, I could see that those are very young hands. It is a very fine Christmas-card, no second class commercial stuff, definitely not!

So I hope that you enjoy preparing for your Christmas. We are going to set here just with our cat Lidia, who doesn't even eat fish, so if we make something special, it will be a fish. Baltic salmon, maybe.

But we don't have to necessarily at all. It was just said in the radio, that per capita, Finns will use about 570 €/this yr Christmas. Now, I don't know how to convert this, because the currencies have been walking all over the horizon this whole yea, but maybe some of you do know what's the amount.

Needless to say, Christmas has become far too commercial. IMHO, at least.

Olga, thanks for the wishes,

Rouchswalwe, glad you like the card! And thanks for the wishes (had to ask my husband what 'Rutsch' meant - good sliding).

Marjatta, I'm pleased you like the card. I've been making my own for quite a few years, earlier ones printed by hand so not very often then.

Salmon sounds good. We might do that for New Year's. We keep Christmas gift giving very minimal so we're not up there with the big spenders, except on food when there's a houseful! We're lucky to have adult children who help out with the meals. One son-in-law is a gourmet cook and will bring some dishes.

So, yes, I agree it's become too commercial, but so has everything. At our age we don't need much, we have too much.

It's a very, very lovely image that brings to my heart the true meaning of Christmas. I hope your holidays are filled with light and joyousness.

All the very best wishes ♡

Susan, thank you for the always generous compliments and for the good wishes. (How do you do that - that heart?)

That is a beautiful ornament. Did you make it? I have some straw ornaments, not that quality, but a few on my tree this year.

Hattie, the children bought this at the Scandinavian Christmas Fair last month. We have many in our family as they are very traditional in the Nordic countries. I wish I knew how to make them.

I found an interesting website just now that has some good links about wheat weaving and its history. As for the ♡'s, my text edit program has 'special characters' in the list of choices. Have a wonderful day.

How beautiful - like all your seasonal images! Warmest greetings to you and yours, dear Marja-Leena.

Susan, thanks for that link. My daughter (mother of these granddaughters) spoke to one of the ladies making and selling them, hoping to get some instruction from her. ♡

Jean, thank you, my dear! Hope your holiday is peaceful.

Wheat! That's why the bugs ate them and I have only a few left!(:

Hattie, oh dear! I think in Finland they use rye straw, though maybe any kind of grain or grass straw would work. I don't even know where to get some here.

All your images are special and visually/mentally stimulating Marja-Leena and this one is no exception.
May your Christmas and New Year be filled with light,warmth and inspiration. All the best to you and your family.

Natalie, thanks so much, as always, for your support and kind words about my work, and for the wonderful wishes. I still remember fondly our meetings in London.

Oh, that's so sweet, and so fitting with your work...

I am a bit behind on flitting about in the e-world, so I see you have gotten way ahead of me while I was busy trying to catch up on everything now that I'm finally home.

Hope you have a wonderful year ahead with your granddaughters and all your family, with much new work and fun new encounters.

xo Marly

Marly, I don't know how you do it. I'm not traveling like you and still find there's so much to do at home. Son-in-law arrived safely from UK this evening so the granddaughters are happy. On Sunday afternoon eldest daughter and husband plan to arrive from the interior, by car, a 5 hour trip. Youngest daughter and partner live nearby. We'll have a preChristmas feast that evening with ten around the table to start.

Thanks so much for your lovely wishes and for this online friendship. Christmas joys to you and your family!

Oh, and a Happy Winter Solstice to all who visit here! I was going to do a post on it but have been too busy. Here's an interesting link if anyone is interested: Facts on the Shortest Day of the Year. Winter may be here but we can look forward to lengthening days ahead.

And to those Down Under, Happy Summer Solstice!

Marja-Leena, hands with objects is a charming idea for art .. and what a marvelous card with the hands of your grandchildren! Wishing you and yours a joyful holiday season! Hyvänjoulun toivotuksin x Leena

Leena, kiitos paljon, thanks so much, and the same to you!

A Winterfest. A neat sort of word that will not (one assumes) disturb Muslims or Christians. I may well pay you the ultimate compliment and plagiarise it. Cheers (which is equally secular).

Roderick, I don't claim to be the inventor of the word so do use it as much as you like. It recalls the winter solstice and the pagan celebrations that preceded Christmas. Sounds warmer than 'Season's Greetings' too, don't you think? Cheers!

I love your Christmas card - the hands and gift are perfect. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Leslee, thanks, and all best wishes for a happy time to you and yours!

It's a beautiful image. Hauskaa joulua.

Dolores, kiitos! Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas with your lovely family.