Our Christmases are always pretty quiet. No other family in the country, friends away or busy with their own families, nothing open after lunchtime Christmas Eve until the 27th. I find it quite difficult this time of year to be an ex-pat.
In the long run-up I try to make cookies, teacher presents, Christmas crafts with the kids to use up some of their energy and excitement. Here's some of our fun.
|Traditional 'Nailed It' gingerbread house.|
Christmas Eve is when the Finns celebrate Christmas and it is a bigger deal in our house as well. We start with a sauna and shower, though Pudding really didn't like it this year and screamed as soon as we tried to take her in. Then we put on clean jammies and sit down to a family movie feast. This year we watched The Wizard of Oz and the kids quite enjoyed it, but I loved it. I remember watching it with my Mum as a child and it was so much fun to share it with my kids. We tried to watch The Sound of Music tonight, didn't work as well. We skipped to the songs, but even then they just weren't interested.
Christmas morning was the usual madness. Skyping with Mormor while the kids opened presents in a mad rush. Every year I try to get them to do it one at a time, but it never works. I wasn't very organised with presents this year and was let down by a new supplier, so we didn't have a lot of the things I ordered. And I made a few mistakes as well. I hate buying Christmas presents, it's so hard to get it right for so many people.
|Just getting started. As usual I didn't get many photos taken during the rippage, trying to watch everyone open, talk to my mum, chase after scissors, etc for opening things.|
|But then there's the playing, that lasts all day.|
|There's always collateral damage.|
|And it's always the small silly gifts that are the best. Like a whoopee cushion.|
|Charity shop dress up clothes.|
The kids seemed happy so that's the most important thing. We chilled, we ate too much food.
We've been in Finland for 5 Christmases now. It's not where we would choose to be, but we try to make the most of what we've got. Each other. Enjoy your holidays, where ever you are and however you wish.