Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: December's here

December's here

The sun is shining and I can see the snow on the mountaintops. It's cold and still very wet from the November rains. I think we had some frost last night, not the first for we had a few in November on the rare clear nights. I've been outdoors raking more leaves, especially the big heavy wet magnolia ones that are about the last to fall. I gathered the few fir branches that had been tossed down by recent windstorms and saved them for Christmas decorations. That's when I remembered it's time to flip the calendars to December and time for advent calendars to put me in the mood! So I'm now looking at last year's post for some online calendar links since I no longer buy the now-too-kitschy-ones with cheap chocolates in them that are sold around here.

Speaking of links, over the almost six years of this blog, I've written now and then about Finnish culture, traditions and history, especially regarding Christmas. One of the sites I linked to frequently was Virtual Finland. I was very sad to note sometime earlier this year that it is gone, replaced by a more modern business and tourism oriented version called this is Finland. Call me old-fashioned but I miss the old one, plus all my great links in past posts are dead! Don't you hate when that happens?


Anyway, today I see that they now have a Christmas special that I'll be perusing. And I'm pleased to see they do have an advent calendar, by Mauri Kunnas, Finland's most successful children's book author and cartoonist. (I see his birthday is the same as mine!) His wife works with him and paints his drawings. (There's more about him here.)The calendar can also be downloaded and printed as a poster, should you have children in your life you wish to delight. I've emailed the link to our granddaughters in England. I might even print it for them to use here when they come the week before Christmas! Should I cut some windows and hide some little treats behind them?

Now I really really must start those Christmas letters, after all I got the cards printed well over a week ago. And I do have plans for new work to test in the print studio for the rest of the week. Life goes on...

Happy new month, dear readers!

Related link: December 1st, 2005

Marja-Leena | 01/12/2009 | 7 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Other artists


Mele Kalekemaka! Christmas here is very jolly. It's time for colorful displays of lights and decorated trees and lots and lots of parties and gift giving. We may have snow on the mountain by Christmas, too.
I hope you are not going to be too overrun by the Olympics madness!

Yes, I definitely think you have to cut little holes for the treats :-)

Hattie, sounds like fun! But, snow on the mountains, really? The Olympic madness is crazy, especially the security and cost overruns. People are making plans to leave town and we're tempted too. I could go on... but I'm sure your Vancouver cousin has similar opinions.

Susan, hmm, maybe I'll get youngest daughter involved in helping cut those little doors and make treats and/or little pictures.

Oh I love advent calenders. I haven't seen any chocolate ones around lately. My boss brought a Peanuts one for the kids at library. So far I reminded two kids not to open up the other doors. Well if I find one already open , i just light tape it down.

Cathy, your library sounds like a great kids' place. I haven't even looked at what calendars might be out there this year.

Here in New Zealand they are playing "Winter Wonderland" and such ditties in the malls, but when I go outside I put on my hat to keep from getting sunburn. Things sound more normal at home where you are. I'll remind my daughter to get out the wooden advent calendar. We will be home soon.

Anne, it always sounds so strange to think of Christmas in the south, in summer. I'd love to see your wooden advent calendar. Have been enjoying your reports; have a good trip home!