This year was the first year I had spent away from home at Christmas time .We headed to Finland to spend Christmas with Richard’s family.
Finland is beautiful, especially with it’s layers of snow. Everyday we would head out for a snowy walk, keeping a eye out for deer along the way, with the trees towering above us and the crunchy snow under our boots. Then we would head back in for a warm glass of Ghlogi and try to warm up again.

We had a day trip out to Turku where we saw Father Christmas and a day trip to Helsinki, which was one of the biggest highlights of our Christmasy trip to Finland, the whole christmas market was absolutely stunning! If your in finaland at Christmas time it’s a must do to give you the spirit of Christmas. It’s incredible, the most beautiful Christmas market we have ever been to. Little Christmas cabins selling home made goods, so much craftsmanship in all the products. it’s placed right in the centre of Helsinki and over looked by the beautiful Helsinki Cathedral.

In Finland they celebrate Christmas a day earlier than in England, so on Christmas Eve the presents arrived from Father Christmas ( he delivers them at night time over in Finland) . Richard’s little brother was so excited when they arrived, it was so sweet to see his reaction to the magic of Christmas.

The next day, on Christmas Day which is a little like Uk Boxing Day for the Finnish people, they mostly spend the day relaxing and with the children playing with their toys they received the night before.

Me and Richard went on a long snowy walk around the forest which was incredibly beautiful and phoned home and all our closest friends. Seeing all their faces celebrating Christmas made me really miss home. I come from a family with two sisters and our house is always so busy on Christmas Day with visits from my grandparents and auntie and Uncle, and up until a few years ago we were lucky enough to all spend Christmas Day around my great grandparents house and all the family would be there, cousins included. When I saw them celebrating home I felt incredibly home sick.
But FaceTime is a wonderful thing and I managed to be virtually there at the dinner table with them ( I even joined in on a game of “Who am I”.
Before we flu out to Finland we did have a “Christmas day” at home with my family with all my favourite Christmas foods including so many roast potatoes …. is any one else as obsessed with good roasties as much as I am?… And Christmas crackers and we all sat around with our cracker crowns on, is it even Christmas Day with out some cheesy Christmas cracker jokes?

But despite feeling a bit Christmas home sick Finland really was lovely, the scenery is so beautiful and where Richard’s dad lives is in the country side, the forest surrounding it was covered in snow and the river was frozen, it was like a scene from a icy fairytale (Maybe Frozen).

Most evenings would end up with sauna time, which is a massive thing over in Finland and well appreciated after a icy cold day.

We absolutely loved hanging out with Marc, Richard’s young brother, it’s just so lovely too see how magical Christmas is for children, watching his face as he opens the gift he wished for in a letter for Father Christmas was priceless.

After our two week stay in the countryside with Richards family we booked to stay in the city of Helsinki after enjoying it so much after visiting the Christmas market for a day, we picked a little airbnb to stay at which was so cosy, a little studio flat opposite the tram, so it was super easy to get around.
While we was there the temperature dropped and a snow blizzard arrived so we would spend our days hopping on the tram to explore around the city and its brilliant Caffe’s and then head back to the comfort of our warm airbnb and make dinner and relax.

Brook O'BrienComment