24 reasons to love Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! I know it’s not New Years for a few days yet, but I promise you that I won’t make another list post for a while ! But for this special occasion we do need one. I mean I don’t really believe that anyone needs me to tell the reasons to love Christmas, but this year I’ve had some extra christmas spirit (even though this is a very special christmas since we’re spending it in Vietnam!) so I’ll try to put my overloading christmas joy in this post, so I might stop humming christmas carols in everyone’s ear. For us Finns the 24th is the day of Christmas celebration (so is 25th, but that day is usually just spent inside and eating left overs with family) and the day when Santa comes, so that’s why I’m wishing you a Merry Christmas already now. Have a lovely, joyful Christmas and or Happy Holidays! xx

1. Christmas lights

2. Wrapping gifts

3. Traditional Christmas food

4. Getting together with family

5. Christmas carols

6. Gingerbread

7. Santa Claus (I’m afraid of him

but hey the kids like his visits)

8. Eating lots of chocolate

9. Christmas markets

10. ”Pikkujoulut”, Little

Christmas – parties

11. Glogg & glühwein

12. Advent calenders

13. Sending & receiving

Christmas cards

14. Christmas decorations

15. Christmas trees

16. Lighting up candles

17. Christmas dinner

18. Elf hats

19. Having holidays

20. Baking ”joulutortut”,

christmas tarts

21. Choosing & giving gifts for your loved ones

22. Christmas movies (Love Actually, Alone at Home etc!!)

23. Peacefulness

24. Christmas spirit all around

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AFFORDABLE CHRISTMAS PRESENT IDEAS

It’s that time of the year again! Time for stressful last minute christmas shopping, that is. And since I hope that people would stress as little as possible, I thought I’d do my bit and share some very cheap ideas for Christmas presents that -hopefully!- might help you too! Some of these I’ve actually gotten as a present myself and absolutely loved them, if you spot yoursefl here thank you one more time <3

How to make a gift personal PLUS affordable:

Think about the receiver. What is she/he like? What might she/he need? When you have a theme, find an item that goes under it or to make it even more personal, find many small items that together make a nice combo. The receiver can tell that you thought of her / him with every detail! And to certainly put your heart into a gift; do something by hand. It doesn’t mean that you have to be an extra talented crafts – person nor know how to build a bird house or to knit a sweater, but even making the tiniest of changes on items that you maybe bought from the store and then pimped suitable for the receiver, will always make it more personal. Another thing that I’ve become a big fan of, is giving something recycled. What could be more affordable than finding a gift from a fleamarket or – even better – from your own cupboards? Yes, I know there are people who these ideas don’t really suite, but you might be surprised how many would also be positively surprised for getting one.

  

something personal

Maybe you know exactly what the receiver likes or needs? Then it’s obviously an easy case. But if you know what the person likes, yet not exactly what you want to give but you know it’s something you want to have extra special thought in, maybe these might work?

  • choose a book (maybe from your own book shelf!) that you’ve read and you know would suit the receiver
  • if the receiver is a baker, give something that has to do with baking and add your favourite recipe around/on the bottom of the baking item
  • if the receiver is a musician, write down (copying works too, but hand written is obviously even more personal) your favourite music sheets for them to learn
  • also for a music person; since mix tapes don’t really work anymore, maybe you could choose a CD from your own cupboard that you’re sure the receiver would enjoy, or if you want to give something definitely useful but something definitely not material, make him/her a playlist
  • a coupon for an acitivity that you promise her/him you’ll do together; a movie, a dinner at your place or in an a restaurant that you both wanted to try, a coffee date, a sports thing, a trip (if you’re not one for the affordable ideas) or what ever floats your boat
  • a photo album / just a photo – since these days everything is digital even though most people love these, they never actually go and print them. So it’s the perfect thing to do for them!

something funny

If you don’t know the person well enough/ you know the reciver is a true comedian, something funny is always a good idea. Of course, if you don’t know each other too well, don’t go straight for some inside jokes you might share with someone else! And even with funny gifts it’s always best if you can actually use them – at least somewhere.

  • An ugly christmas sweater (at least in Finland this has really become a thing and is a great thing to wear for ’pikkujoulut’!
  • funny shaped/pictured school things
  • … I’m clearly not one of the humorous geniuses, though I do love me some silly gifts!

something that works every time

One thing that most people adore as Christmas gifts, are all relaxing sorts of things- Not everyone, but unfortunately many, live a busy life where they forget to treat themselves. And that’s basically what gifts are about – about treating the receiver with something special. So why not give them something they can use to treat them selves? But be careful though, you’re not the only one thinking about these. If you can, make your simply choice a bit mre personal by choosing her/his favourite colour/smell/favour/etc.

  • chocolate (apart from like one of my friends who doesn’t like chocolate and one who can’t eat it) – you can’t go wrong with this, maybe you can also pack it in a nice package for it to bee a bit more personal than the orginal package?
  • alcohol – unless the reciver is an absolutist or a member of the AA club, this is also another thing that is hard to go wrong with
  • candles – there can never be too many of them, right? But mind with scented candles, for many it may cause migren! Bee wax candles are a great other option for them!
  • pyjamas/ropes/slippers/wool socks
  • face masks – there can never be too many of these either am I right or am I right?
  • a blanket
  • a special tea mug / smoothie glass / water bottle

something handmade

  • just add water – baking jars
  • a calender for the coming year
  • a tiny box for jewellery/other small things (old jewellery boxes are perfect for this when you decorate the by hand)
  • mittens, wool socks, hat, scarf, sweater…
  • something baked / cooked
  • for a poetic soul; a poem jar – choose/write a bunch of tiny poems for her/him to read on specific days
  • (christmas) decorations
  • photo album (pardon the repeating but it also goes under this headline)
  • cute cupcake tins
  • body scrub (an example of directions here)

something for men

Oh dear heaven someone please help me out here.

 

… and other random ideas

  • jewellery
  • scarf
  • a specific T-shirt
  • home decor
  • kitchen thingies
  • socks (especially for Dobby)
  • cute pyjamas
  • books
  • a polaroid camera (it can be affordable too!)
  • pillow cases

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30 PHYSICAL REASONS WHY NOT TO STRESS

As I’ve said, I’m an expert when it comes to stress. I also know what it can cause to your body, since I’ve had the symptoms under my very own skin. Of course, once again, every one is different and every one might have different symptoms of stress, but here you have a few that are actually proven to be true. 30 examples of what stress causes to your body and mind, a.k.a. 30 reasons why to take better care of yourself so that you won’t get here. I know, it’s easier said than done. And the last thing I want to do is to scare you! But maybe reading this will help you realize that you too have to take extra good care of yourself for a while – your body is precious, value it ❣️

1. Headache< strong>2. Hairloss<<<<<<
ten happens to me quite slowly or even after my actual stress is over, but nonetheless is very annoying.

3. Insomnia< strong>4. Irregularity on your period cycle<<<<<<<
nnoying.

5. Overall exhaustness

6. Nausea

7. Grumpyness
Sorry Mom, Dad and my friends. I hope you know I don’t mean any of it.

8. Strange hormonal activity
What explains the weird period cycles, weird mood changes and many other things. To put in short; these kind of hormonal changes (mainly caused by cortisol) are not good for your body especially on the long term.

9. Weakness in your limbs
y comes mostly from the insomnia & headache – plus having tons of things on your mind definitely makes it harder to focus even on physical activities.

10. Frequent urination
Who wants to run to the toilet every 15 minutes?

11. Dizziness

12. Ringing or Buzzing voices

Don’t worry, you’re (probably) not going crazy.

13. Unpunctuality

Aha, so I’ll just blame my next unpunctual cases on stress.. kidding, I’m just sadly a very unpunctual person with stress or not.

14. Low level of the immunity system – frequent colds, herpes sores and infections

15. Reduced productivity

17. Depression

It does get better, I promise.

18. Anxiety and/or panic attacks

19. Chest pain, rapid pulse

20. Unexplained or frequent ”allergy” attacks

21. Rashes, itching

22. Increased or decreased appetite

And hey, chocolate is (a proved fact!) good medicine for stress.

23. Heartburn

24. Problems of digestion system

25. Excess worry, guilt & nervousness

Just breathe and be more merciful to yourself, you’re not to blame for all the bad in the world. And you’ll do just fine.

26. Concentrating difficulties

27. Difficulty in making decisions

If you can’t make the decision, make it another time. You can’t force it.

28. Trouble learning new information

Again, try another time.

29. Feeling overwhelmed & overloaded

 

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100 REASONS TO LOVE FINLAND

Happy belated Independence Day Finland! Our dear country turned 100 years old on Wednesday. The whole year has been full of different kinds of celebrations, and the day before yesterday it all peaked at the Independence Day reception at the presiden’t castle and many firework- & choir shows around the country. Me and my friends celebrated it traditionally by watching the reception live from TV, and by toasting with a bit of champagne and eating blue & white (purple and white really, but we tried!) desserts. That’s why I’m late even on my country’s ”birthday”. But they have called this the ”festive year”, so I hope we can still celebrate it until the end of the year. Countries around the world were celebrating Finland as well by illuminating their buildings in our colours, blue and white, and just like about 5 million other people living here in the cold North – I’ve never felt more proud to be a Finn.

Too often I forget to be grateful for what we have here, and take my home country for granted. That’s probably why the Independence day has become such an important day for me – it’s a great chance to actually remind myself of the greatness of our country. It’s been fought for, it’s been basically built from nothing, and it has always fought it’s way to get people’s attention despite being so tiny. And nowadays it’s officially one of the best countries to live at. We have the kind of safety, nature, equality and many other things that most other countries can only dream of. We Finns are quite a strange people – we seem grumpy and mean, but once you get to know us we’re often the kindest and most honest people you’ll ever meet. And while most of us won’t show it, we’re often really patriotic. We still remember the one time we won the Eurovision contest, we surely remember the times Finland won the world championships of Ice Hockey, and we sure will be ready to mention that ”a Finn was second on the British X-factor”. We’re so proud of the silly things that it’s funny. But that’s how we are. The blonde and blue eyed (I’m totally generalizing if you didn’t catch that yet) people who voluntarely live in the cold, far North where in the winter you can’t see the sun for a few months, speaking one of the most difficult languages in the world. And we love it here. No matter where in the world I go, this place will alwas be my home – of which I am really grateful. So to show my respect to our wonderful country here you have 100 reasons to love Finland – in the form of text and photos. Visit us one day, I promise you you won’t regret it. It’s a strange experience for sure, and aren’t those just the best ones?

1.

2.  3. Salmiakki

4.

5.6. Sauna

7. 8. Finns are great at winter sports

9.

10. 11. We’ve got a bunch of great music festivals every summer

12.

13.

14. On Easter, the kids dress up, decorate willow branches and go door to door exchanging those decorations for candy

15.

16.17. It’s a tradition to celebrate Christmas in advance at ”pikkujoulut” drinking, eating ginger bread and other treats

18.

19. When we graduate from High School, we dress up in funny costumes, get into trucks int he cities and throw candy around

20. In the Universities and the Colleges the students wear matching jumpsuits, the colour of which tells you where and what do they study

21.

22. On the second year of high school, the students practice over a month for a traditional ball

23.

24. At mid summer in Northern Finland, the sun literally doesn’t set at all

25. You can skate on frozen lakes

26.

27.

28. Our old towns are beautiful, calm and picturesques

29.

30.

31.

32. The Finnish ice cream is the best in the world – right after gelato

33.

34. It’s never too hot

35. When you become a doctorate, you get to buy yourself a funny, black hat and a special sword

36.

37. Everyone (in the age to be able to do so) in Finland can read

38. School lunch is free until 13th grade

39.

40.

41.

42.

43. When you graduate from high school, you get to wear this sailor-like white cap

44. May Day is a special celebration when everyone gets on the streets, gets drunk, eats a bunch of munkki, and has fun together

45.

46. It’s okay even for really young kids to play by them selves outside after dark, because it’s so safe here

47. Marimekko (a lovely Finnish brand)

48.
49. There are almost 200 000 lakes in Finland

50. Every Finn has to study at least three languages; Finnish, Swedish (both the official languages of Finland) and English

51.


52. You can trust on the health insurance

53. If you don’t get a job, the government will support you to survive

54. It’s allowed to walk almost anywhere (not too close to private buildings or in farms) to pick berries or mushrooms

55.

56. Advent calenders are traditional even for adults

57. You can see the Aurora Borealis; the Nortehrn Lights

58.

59. Finland is in the top countries on the PISA- researches

60.

61.

62.

63.

64. When ever something amazing happens, like a victory in a sports event or a music competition, the Finns go to the market place to celebrate together, hence the saying ”torille” (= to the market place!) when ever Finland is mentioned somewhere

65. 66. We celebrate a tradition called Mid Summer on the lightest day of the year by lighting up a bonfire, by doing mid summer magic and eating well together with friends and family

67. It’s normal to have two houses – one to live at, and the other to relax at (usually located by a lake, we call them ”mökki” = summer cottage)

68.

69.

70.

71. We have snow every winter – and usually lots of it

72. Our stores have great sales several times a year

73. The minimum salary is higher than the average salary in some countries

74.

75. Finnish chocolate is ridiculously good

76.

77. Carelian pies

78.

79. Finns are honest, reliable and trustworthy

80.

81. Rye bread is our most eaten bread

82.

83. We are very ironic, and also use a lot of self – irony

84. We barely ever say ” I love you” , but when we do we really mean it

85.

86. Finnish gum is actually good for your teeth, and recommended by the dentists

87.

88.

89. We drink water straight out of the tap, because it tastes even better than bottles water

90. Sibelius

91.


92. Our air is unpolluted and clean – so clean that some travel to Finland just for the fresh air

93. Muumit

94. Freedom of speech

95. Gender equality

96.

97. We take care of our children – plus give motherly and fatherly leave for quite a long time

98. What is promised to happen, happens

99.

100. It’s the best possible place to call home, and it’s my home <3

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