Share Your World – Favourite Holiday Edition

Yay, Christmas is almost here! I had hoped Cee would have some Christmas questions for this week’s Share Your World. As her blog’s challenges are for everyone, whatever their beliefs, she cleverly made the questions generic. Lucky for me, Christmas can be incorporated into the answers.

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What is your favorite holiday?

I’m sure you realized by now – CHRISTMAS!

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What types of food is associated with your holiday?

Oooh! There’s so many. This is what our Christmas dinner will be:

  • rye crisps filled smoked reindeer cold cuts mixed with sour cream
  • cold smoked salmon and gravlax – yum!
  • different types of roe with smetana and onion
  • different types of herring
  • a salad called rosolli (beetroot salad mixed with potato, carrot, onion and pickle – not for me thank you!)
  • potatoes
  • ham (with mustard) and turkey (with jam)
  • carrot, turnip and potato casseroles (I will also serve a corn casserole for the first time but that is not a Finnish thing)
  • home-made Carelian pies (karjalanpiirakka)
  • different kinds of cheese (this is not traditionally Finnish but I think many people have a platter for Christmas), rye crackers, fig jam, nuts and grapes
  • gingerbread cookies, cold plum custard (kiisseli), marmalade (vihreä kuula) and of course chocolates.. this year I’ve made a gingerbread-lingonberry cake and for Christmas Day I plan to make banoffee-lingonberry cups
  • glögg, wine and soft drinks

Who can eat all this you may wonder… LOL! Usually we eat what is left of it all on Christmas Day. Sweet plum pastries (joulutorttu) are also associated with Christmas over here but I’m not very fond of them. Oh and I forgot – on Christmas Eve morning I will make rice porridge which is eaten with cinnamon and sugar.

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Do you travel for your holiday?

Usually no. In Finland the 24th December – Christmas Eve – is the main day to celebrate Christmas. We have often spent the evening at my FIL’s but he lives 15 minutes away, so I would not call that traveling. Last year we went to Florida – our flight was on the 24th, so we missed Christmas. On the 25th we found ourselves at a diner in Sebastian eating American pancakes for breakfast. This year we will celebrate Christmas in our new home – needless to say, I am very much looking forward to it.

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Is it a religious or spiritual holiday?

Christmas is a religious holiday obviously but I am not religious at all. Our family’s Christmas celebrations do not have any religious traditions attached to it. Nevertheless, I am a member of the Lutheran Church which is the primary state religion in Finland. This year I did go to church to sing Christmas Hymns but I found that it was too sombre for me. It was supposed to be in English but over half of the hymns were in Finnish! What I’d like would be a sing-a-long of cheery Christmas Carols instead.

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Is there a gift exchange?

Yes there is! My mother is very partial to gifts, so it’s fruitless trying to break the tradition. Besides it’s fun to buy gifts for others. I try not to buy anything one doesn’t need. I have found that my favourite presents to get are things you can eat or gift cards. In Finland presents are given on Christmas Eve – in the evening. Santa himself comes over to bring the gifts. I think the last time we had a Santa was two-three years ago but now the kids are so old that there’s no need.

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How long does the celebration last?

I start decorating at the end of October, starting with lights to light up the darkness we are enveloped in. So for me it goes on for months. The high point being Christmas Eve. After the 26th I’m so over Christmas and I usually like to take down all the decorations before Christmas Eve. The lights stay on though.

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Fellow blogger from sparksfromacombustilbemind added one question which I’m adding now too.

Do you have any traditions that you carry on year to year?

Yes – watching the movie Holiday. I absolutely love that movie. Also the first Home Alone movie is great for Christmas but we don’t watch it every year. On Christmas Day our family lazes around the house – maybe a walk will come into question, but nothing more than that.

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What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful that I didn’t have too many plans for the weekend. Which meant that I was able to start wrapping gifts and bake. And as you can guess by now, I am looking forward to Saturday – Christmas Eve. I am also looking forward to my holiday starting this Friday. One thing I plan to do is finally catching up on all the blogs I follow.

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All these photos are from Helsinki’s Christmas Market – Tuomaanmarkkinat. As you can see, it’s very dark this time of year. The Market will close after the 22nd, so you still have a few days to visit and soak up the Holiday spirit.

Let me know what your favourite holiday is in the comments below or write your own Share Your World post. Meanwhile, I’d like to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

xx

33 thoughts on “Share Your World – Favourite Holiday Edition

  1. Christmas and Easter are my favorite times of the year, both time to spend with the family 🙂
    I need to check this move Holiday… we watch Home Alone too lol 🙂
    loved reading this, Suvi, interesting about traditions in Finland for Christmas 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohhh oui! That’s some menu! 😮 😮 😮 Well done for saying ‘smetana’, I’d never expect a Finn to know this word! 😮 It’s what Slovenians call cream, sweet or sour, but it appears to be used internationally, from Polish, I’d guess. As for me, I’m in for a 5-course all-fish and sea food Christmas dinner. Hail hail Italians and their take on fasting. 😀

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  3. Have a wonderful Christmas Suvi! So lovely to read how you will spend this magical time. Everyone will be home by Thursday until 3 January as I believe home and family are the most important aspects of Christmas. Christmas Day is our big day but we also prepare a big buffet meal on 24th. On Christmas Day we stay indoors all day (probably only day of the year)! Eating, drinking, playing board games, curling up in front of the open fire and of course sharing presents. xx

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    1. Happy Christmas M! ❤ Your Christmas Day sounds very much like ours except that the presents have been opened already, LOL! I do try to go out for a walk but that doesn't always happen 🙂

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  4. Fun post. Love knowing what others do for Christmas, my favorite holiday. My family always celebrated on Christmas Eve as well when I was a kid and the tradition continues for most of my family. Spending time with family at Christmas is important to me so I usually travel to visit one of my sisters, last year Alaska, this year New York state. Happy Christmas and all the best for the new year.

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    1. Wow, that’s so surprising that someone who is not Finnish would celebrate Xmas on the Eve! Wow, your trip to NY State sounds awesome – happy travels and Merry Christmas Marie ❤

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  5. ahh…your’s is the first blog where the pics looked nice with the wp snow!!
    I love all your traditions – though I’d have to pass on most of your food (but not the sweets!!)

    Holiday is a GREAT movie! Because “DieHard” takes place at Christmas, several local theaters are showing it on the big screen but I only vaguely, sorta, sometimes like that movie so I’m sticking to It’s A Wonderful Life and, schedule willing, Bringing Up Baby next week and My Man Godfrey just before NYE.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, Die Hard for Christmas!! LOL! But it does have those Xmas aspects about it. Maybe I should have a look again. I will have to check out Netflix for Christmas movies, they seemed to have many. Lovely to have you visit and I will check out those movies for sure. Merry Christmas!!

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  6. How interesting the photos are – such a beautiful place you live in! And that lovely list of Christmas treats made my mouth water, even though I’ve never tried most of them – they sound delicious! Thank you for sharing your wonderful holiday with the rest of us! A very Merry Christmas to you too!

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  7. I found your Christmas traditions so interesting — with similarities to my own and a very different Christmas dinner menu. We have fondue on Christmas Eve — not a tradition here in Maryland — but it certainly is in our family. And we’ve incorporated French cookies into our annual cookie bake, macarons and calissons d’Aix — which we fell in love with during our one Christmas spent in Aix and Paris. My younger daughter was a student in Aix then. And unlike you and lots of people I know, we decorate late — lights went up yesterday — and we keep them up late as my family can stand it. I’ve been known to take the tree down for Valentine’s Day.
    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Merry Christmas Mary! How fun to hear how you celebrate. I wouldn’t mind macarons for Xmas – maybe I will have them for New Years. A fondue is so far from the Finnish Christmas menu, LOL – but why not! Heheh, I like to keep my lights till March-April but I would never be able to look at my tree for very long after Xmas. 🙂

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  8. Fun post! It totally gives away your feelings for Xmas 🙂 I agree with you about Finnish Christmas carols being so sombre – the same goes for our Independence Day celebrations! It would be fun if we could cheer up a bit 🙂 What’s banoffee, by the way?

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    1. Yes, you are so right. Maybe next year with the big 100, we Finns will change the way we celebrate Independence. I think watching people shake hands with the President it so last season. OOOOH, Banoffee is something you have to try. Just google banoffee and you will find super easy recipes. Imagine toffee, bananas and whipped cream.. Merry Xmas Snow ❤

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