Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: getting into the mood

getting into the mood

for Christmas, that is...


a favourite photo posted three years ago

~ Visited the annual Christmas Craft Fair: at the Scandinavian Centre a week ago Sunday and bought some Christmas gifts and lots of Finnish pulla and Karelian pies, a coffee cake and a few Danish marzipan cookies - tucked most into the freezer but still had a carbohydrate overdose! Served some to guests during the week.

~ Christmas cards and letters: finished printing a week ago, took longer than planned due to a few idiosyncracies with the printer hence a few spoiled prints. Today we start to write letters, the overseas ones first.

~ Cleaning up the garden: when the weather allows, leaves and still more leaves. Pulled out the geraniums, including in a pot next to the door still with one flower, untouched by frost. Tucked in a few bulbs in case some of the older ones don't come back and added tiny winter pansies, some berried branches and pine tips cut from around the garden to keep out the squirrels and for some Christmasy looks.

~ Outdoor decorations: lights & door wreath went up this weekend. Paperwhite bulbs placed in pebbles and shells inside glasses (like in photo above) and pots and put into the cool solarium in hopes that they will be in bloom at Christmas, not before. Indoor decorating to come bit by bit.

~ Reading: old favourite Christmas posts on my blog like this one (some links no longer working, sorry)

~ Listening: to some favourite Christmas music, such as mentioned here

~ Baking: bought some supplies including Danish marzipan to make the stollen this week.

~ Sunday's iChat: with family in UK - the granddaughters are lively and excited by all the preparations and community activities - will miss them all again this coming Christmas.

Marja-Leena | 05/12/2011 | 7 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events, Home


Oh, Stollen! This all sounds wonderful, Marja-Leena. My nose has been tickled by your preparations. And thank you for the reminder that I should start writing my overseas cards!! The first two Advents slipped by and I didn't even realize it.

Knowing about your preparations for the holiday are like a balm for my heart. I do send out cards and a few presents (still waiting for the special ones to arrive) but let the rest pass.

I remember my friend Inger telling me about the magical time when she'd been chosen to be the Lucia and I always associated the tradition with Christmas.

rouchswalwe, thanks. Stollen is one of my favourite Christmas baking. Good luck with your letters! My husband bought stamps today and had a shock at the cost - over $50! - even though we send about a third by email these days.

Susan, you don't bake? I've cut back a lot from what I used to do but it's not Christmas without a few things, and this year our family will be here too.

How special an experience for your dear friend to be Lucia! That festival was unknown to me growing up but it's become popular in Finland even with the Finns, from the Swede-Finns. I even wrote about it here.

oh, i want a slice of your stollen. the christmas fair sounds delicious. i really must start baking! x

Wonderful! I haven't had much time to prepare for Christmas yet, though I did have some cards and calendars made. I'm flying out to see my dad on Thursday for the weekend and may bring the cards to work on, otherwise I'll them a few at a time on evenings when I get back. So little time.

Glad I saw your paperwhites - I was thinking of picking up some bulbs, but forgot that you can just put rocks around them (I buried them in dirt last time) - that's so much prettier!

We used to have a Saint book, but it's gotten lost in many moves. But she is Santa Lucia, bringing light, but I don't remember who is behind this apparently old cult.

There is an Italian folk song about Santa Lucia. So maybe she is some Catholic saint.

Elisa, we've already been indulging in store-bought stollen but, as you know, mine is a bit different, it's more bread-like and not as sweet. I do try not to start the baking too soon or all will be eaten before the holidays!

Leslee, you still have plenty of time. Iused to put the paperwhites in soil too until I tred these, with lots of shell too. I try to have tall containers to hold the leaves together when they start to flop over. Have a nice weekend with your Dad!

Ripsa, Santa Lucia is one of the Catholic saints, and according to wikipedia, the only saint adopted by the Nordic countries. There are roots in the pre-Christian. And yes, I've heard there is a song...