Yes, I’m dreaming of a white Xmas. And of a lovely, living Xmas tree that carries the scent of the Finnish forest right into our living room!
Xmas trees are not hard to get if you live in Finland. After all, forests cover 75% of Finland’s land area and the majority of forests are privately owned. Did you know that there are more than 630,000 family forest owners in Finland? Thus, many Finns are able to go and select their own Xmas tree from their very own forest.
My childhood memories include a trip to a nearby forest with Dad where we had the landowner’s permission to fell a Xmas tree. We walked together amidst the fir trees of the snowy forest, selected our favorite spruce and after Dad had felled it, we took it back home in my plastic sled.
The next day, on the morning of Xmas Eve it was time to decorate the Xmas tree, before the Declaration of Christmas Peace from Turku at noon when everything had to be ready. After that, there was the ‘long’ wait for Xmas sauna, and only after that, it was time to open the presents…
This year, we took a friend and her dog with us and drove to a farm in Korpilahti (close to Jyväskylä) in early December and started wandering among the spruces, debating each tree’s merits. That one’s got nice and dense branches… Oh but look at that one! Or is it too small for our living room? How about this beauty, or is it too tall for us?
Finally, we agreed on one and the cover was taken off the saw. A minute later the lovely spruce was ready to be carried to our car and be transported home. On the way home we stopped for a snack by Lake Päijänne, watching the ice-cold waves slapping on the shore and warmed our fingers with cups of hot tea. Xmas tree, done!
For me, a real Xmas tree is a must. Although these days it is easiest to get your Xmas tree from a nearby market or order it online (with home delivery), I still prefer a trip to the countryside and having the chance to pick the centerpiece of our living room from the very spot the tree has grown.