This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
FOCUS: Childhood Memories of a Finnish Christmas by Heidi Burton of www.etsy.com/shop/heidiburton and Tiina Burton www.tiinateaspoon.etsy.com


We are two creative sisters who grew up together and shared many family Christmas times. Heidi is an illustrator and Tiina is a fashion designer/ photographer. All the photos are from the Burton family archive.


I remember the excitement leading up to Christmas. Our mother would have been very busy cleaning the whole house while we caused happy chaos baking gingerbread biscuits to complement the iced gingerbread house she’d already made. We weren’t allowed to eat any just yet though!


A few days before Christmas, we might help to choose a tree, or if we were incredibly lucky, we could play in the snow wearing the new winter coats our mother had made for us.


52 | ukhandmade | Winter 2010


Our home and tree would be decorated with lights, Finnish flags, hand-cut paper snowflakes, and cheerful red Tonttus galore! Tonttus help Father Christmas (joulupukki) to check that children have been good all year round, but especially just before Christmas. We’d hear bells jingling faintly outside and maybe catch a glimpse of a vanishing Tonttu lakki (hat). We’d make sure we were on our best behaviour.


We celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December. As Father Christmas doesn’t have far to travel from Finnish Lapland, he would visit the Finns first on his journey. I was amazed that he’d still visit Finns first after they’d moved to a different country!


Before the festivities, we’d light candles to remember our ancestors. If there was snow, we’d make a lumilyhty, an igloo of snowballs


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