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Holiday season traditions and slow living

Holiday season traditions and slow living

Hello again dear Passion Shake readers! Its Jaana here, back with my monthly “Home stories from Finland” –column. Maybe this time we will call this “Christmas stories from Finland” instead.

December can really be the most wonderful time of the year. Candles are burning, fairy lights are twinkling, people wrapping presents and decorating the tree. Christmas playlist full of favourite carols and thick scent of seasonal spices lingering in the air. Magical time right! Christmas, the holiday season filled with old traditions and the possibilities to create new ones.

One of my favourite pre-Christmas traditions is to bake traditional holiday treats while sipping hot glögi. Nothing says Christmas like gingerbread cookies in the oven and glögi simmering on the stove filling the house with distinct aroma of cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Glögi ( glögg in Sweden, gløgg in Norway) is a Nordic version of mulled wine. It is spiced juice or wine based drink served hot, usually accompanied with raisins and almonds. You can find my simple recipe of this traditional Nordic holiday drink below.

Keep it simple is also my approach what comes to decorating my home for the holidays. The focus is in the scents and flavours as decorative elements creates an extra layer to emphasize that special ambience. During December I do like to set the table a bit more festive even if it’s just for our little family of two, in the middle of a work week. It doesn’t need much, just a few subtle details. My go to elements for that warm and cosy Christmassy vibe is candles, brass details and natural linen textiles. The wrinkled texture of the linen tablecloth together with brass flea market find candleholders gives nice warm and rustic vibe. Orange and yellow are nice colour choices for Christmas as they give the overall look little bit of freshness.

All the preparations and pre-Christmas traditions can feel every bit as festive as Christmas itself. It can also be overwhelming and stressful with all the endless to do- lists and haste. Holidays are the best time to introduce some of that slow living state of mind in one’s life. The most important thing about the extended holiday season is after all to relax, recharge, be present and focus on those little things and traditions that feels meaningful and makes us happy

Non-alcoholic Orangeglögi

3 dl applejuice

2 dl squeezed orange juice

3 dl Water

0, 5 dl sugar

25 g mixture of spices containing cinnamon, cardamom, bitter orange peel, ginger and clove

Add all the ingredients in to the pot and heat up until steaming but not yet boiling. Simmer for around 30 minutes on a stove until all the flavours have blended together. Strain it and simmer again. Pour in to glasses and enjoy or bottle it and give as a nice homemade Christmas present.

I hope you enjoyed the column. Wishing you all joyful holidays! See you next year!

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