Finnish Christmas – from a Spanish point of view

I know many of us have already started a new year and have probably forgot Christmas, but I’m still sharing a little throwback on our Christmas in Rovaniemi.

This year my boyfriend decided to come to Rovaniemi for Christmas, instead of going home to Spain, like every year. The point of that was to not leave me alone for Christmas, because I was working during the holidays, and couldn’t leave the city.

I knew it would be his first Christmas in Finland, but also only the 2nd or 3rd time of his life  far from his family for Christmas… So I wanted his Finnish Christmas to be perfect – despite the fact that I was working the 24th the whole day.

My boyfriend is not living in Spain, but in South of Finland. He knows everything about cold, skiing, darkness etc. And he has been in Lapland before, so any big cultural shocks were not expected.

But, as in Finland the food for Christmas is traditional and always the same, I spent the previous week by cooking. I tried to impress him with home-made Christmas bread and I even agreed to do a home-made gingerbread dough and we were baking them for 2 days!

Expect that Christmas is important for him, his family is very… Spanish, and they are many. The loud, talkative, close to each other, touchy, loving local Spanish food – family changed to be only me. Even that I talk a lot, no way I can do the same noise than his whole family!

To fix that, we called his family on Skype the Christmas Eve. After about 20 mins of people talking and shouting in Spanish, we hang the call and started eating our Finn-French-Spanish Christmas dinner.

The menu included canapés with foie gras, salmon, fish egg… Green asparagus with ham and cheese, Finnish Christmas ham and sweet potato casserole as well as rosolli (beetroot salad) and mushroom salad. Traditional Finn dishes were easy to do and to find ingredients, but for the foie gras and green asparagus we spent some time and few desperate moments.

I was very happily surprised that he enjoyed all the food so much, and honestly liked each dishes. (Good, because we were eating them for 3 days!)

In my plans I also wanted to bring him in Christmas church on the eve of 24th or at least on a Christmas carols concert… But actually, despite eating and cooking, our Xmas activities were about doing ice-lanterns and having a walk under snowfall at midnight.

We also opened some gifts already on the Xmas eve, even that in France that’s done on the morning of 25th, and in Spain traditionally they  get gifts only the 6th of January!

Traditions are made to be broken, and to spend Christmas in Finnish Lapland is one of the best places to get a real Christmas feeling. The days after Christmas we went skiing and walking and  enjoyed a lot the snowy landscapes before going to the South of Finland for New Year.

The Spaniard enjoyed Christmas in Finland, but is already asking if next year we will go to Spain… 😉


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