This question is in the heart of my Xmas. It comes every year, even if I try to avoid it the best I can. I try to learn to be a positive, forward looking person but sometimes the doubts just get me. And so what, you might think. Many places in the world go through Xmas year after year and never see snow. But you see, this is at the heart of the dilemma. Those places generally get more sunny days per year than we do, and not only sunnier but warmer too. So what do we get? Even though I am a summer child (as you might have noticed on previous posts) I feel that if the Finns were planted at this northern reach of our globe then at least we should have snow at Xmas. Minimum requirement here.
I love doing crafts. It is a good opposite to my work and gives me a possibility to relax. In the fall I do wreaths and all the year long, I love sowing. I started doing wreaths several years back by attending a class for one night in the local community center. That was the first year I found there is something to look forward to between the summer when the woods are lovely green and the spring when everything comes back up again.
Like most Finns I am fortunate to live very near woods. The city owns a lot of woods and has created recreational paths into them. In the summer time these offer a track for walking and running and in the winter time these form the basis for the cross country skiing tracks which the city keeps up. My woods start at just a 2 minute walk from our house.
In my mind one of the most important places in a Finnish house hold is the sauna. This is a room for healing, relaxing and strengthening the body and the soul. For all the history this was the place where the Finns were born and died. In between, many an hour was spent in the warmth of the sauna, sweating and purifying again, both the body and soul. In these modern times, when birth and death are moved to be done inside the walls of hospitals in many cases, what remains are the hours spent in getting cleaner and more relaxed.