Christmas is coming and there are a few new traditions for us as we celebrate in the northern hemisphere.
For one, the day is celebrated on the 24th December in Finland, which in New Zealand is traditionally a day of last minute shopping as we prepare to open presents and feast on the 25th.
Another difference here is that Joulupukki (Santa) is expected to appear in every home, to deliver presents himself.
In NZ, we put the presents under the tree and leave out a plate of cookies, a carrot (for the reindeer) and a glass of milk or beer for Santa. In the morning we wake to find – Oh! Santa must have been (entering via the chimney) as the cookies are gone, the beer bottle’s empty and there are a few more pressies either under the tree or in our Christmas stockings.
The fact that Santa himself comes to call in Finland is really nice, but it can create a problem for anyone with a quick-witted child who notices that Santa arrives just as Dad seems to leave….and what about families where there is no suitable male to take on the role?
Well, that’s why many people hire a Santa, a big business in Helsinki with websites dedicated to it. Here you can find men who upload photos and a brief description of their experience.
The best are those who advertise themselves as ‘sober’, ‘non-smoking’ and often ‘well-masked.’
Although a job is a job after all. A friend of ours who doesn’t celebrate Christmas told us he instead goes to his local pub where all the Santas end their rounds for an after work drink.
http://www.joulupukkipalvelu.fi/joulupukit/ – Santa Service website