Sometimes it's the little things that make the festive season special. Etsy invited me to create an Etsy Holiday gift guide that holds tradition or meaning for me. Christmas is mostly a traditional Finnish celebration for my family, due to my mother being a Finn. We celebrate on Christmas eve with a home cooked evening meal, some Finnish Christmas music, gift giving, and glögi (mulled wine). I've curated a collection of Etsy items that are reminiscent of our Finnish/Nordic traditions at home, with decorations, gingerbread, and elves included in my finds!
Traditional Christmas Decorations
What I love about traditional Finnish Christmas decorations is they instantly transform an English house into a Nordic style home. There are some tasteful contemporary interpretations of the traditional designs on Etsy, along with authentic vintage items. Click through the images to see the individual items:
See more Nordic/Scandinavian Christmas items from Etsy sellers here.
Every year in the run up to Christmas, my Finnish mother could be found kneading gingerbread dough, cutting shapes, filling our house with divine baking scents, building little houses, and decorating them beautifully by hand. Not only was her creativity inspiring, but we got to ruin all her hard work and eat it as well, eventually! There was that one year I'm told we snuck downstairs and demolished most of it in one sitting before Christmas, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do anything that naughty ...
There's an impressive selection of giftable gingerbread products on Etsy if you're looking for cookies, fudge, gingerbread tea, marshmallows, or a variety of other delicious goodies. Click through the images to explore gingerbread items on Etsy:
Explore all gingerbread edibles on Etsy here.
Christmas Elves (Finnish "Tonttu")
As a child I believed in tontut (Finnish Christmas elves) and quite frankly I'm not surprised, as I'd hear the bells on their hats tinkle as they ran past the house, and see a quick flash of a red hat as they'd peek through the window.
No, I wasn't imagining things - my parents orchestrated this display using broom handles with hats, and bells. I have never been so well behaved as around Christmas time when tontut, the 'spirits of the homestead' were keeping watch!
Our houses are decorated every year with the little folk; you will find a tonttu anywhere you look, from wall decorations to tableware, to ornaments, to textiles, and they are created with a variety of different materials. Here are a few of the folkloric friends I found on Etsy:
Discover more little elves on Etsy here.
I hope you've enjoyed learning about some of my 'Finglish' Christmas traditions. What holiday traditions are meaningful to you? Share with us in the comments!