I spent one year in Finland when I was 17 years old, visiting family and learning the langugae and cusotms that I had heard about during my childhood.

I was very homesick during the holiday season, and could only think about going home, not celebrating. My cousin knew this and invited me to go to his in-laws place in Lapland.

I agreed to go and cried almost the whole 10 hours on the way there. Then, we arrived and my whole mood changed. We arrived early in the evening and as I stepped out of my cousin’s van, I looked up to the sky and was amazed to see the milky way and about a billion stars in the sky. It was the most beautiful night. Because we were so far north, about 70 degrees latitude, the sky was so clear.

The next morning, I awoke to the smell of pulla and coffee, and my little cousins decorating the Christmas tree.

We all went for a walk outside and throughout the farm. Yes, I was spending Christmas on a reindeer farm!!! It ust added to the growing feeling of season spirits to see reindeer running around amongst the trees and snow.

Later that evening, which was Christmas Eve, we all sat around the living room, drinking glogg and watching the kids open presents. All the presents are opened on Christmas Eve in Finland because they believe Santa lives in Finland and visits them first.

That evening S

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