Sinterklaas and Joulupukki (a.k.a Santa Claus)

Afinnlostineurope, erasmusexchange, Finland

WARNING! This subject can be very sensitive to some and those who believe that Sinterklaas and Santa exists, keep believing, I do so too.

Like 80% of Finnish people, I love christmas. Christmas to me represents happiness. Time with the family – getting my two nephews to stand still for a minute to take photo together. To stress about the food and everything with my lovely sister. To call ten times in a day to mom just to tell what I wanna eat and to pass the buck to her since I don’t know how to cook any kind of tradional food.

Pretty much every christmas goes the same. I decide start the christmas usually around september and plan what kind of cards I will make for people I want to wish Merry Christmas to. It is a strong tradition and stays even when I’m in the Netherlands! 😀 Another very special tradition is my mom to give me a (Fazer chocolate) christmas calendar. This year I phoned to her to ask if she could send me one – and she answered that she already did! Love you mom

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My family dont wanna talk about christmas before December. Well, I dont respect that because I dont understand who doesnt love christmas and talking about it. So basically every year latest on November I start twisted mind-game with the family to make sure that we will spend as much time together as we can and that we could have cute christmas photos together. I guess by pushing and pressing my family to their limits I’m showing how much I love them.

During the past years I have noticed my way to be effective. The secret is, more you talk about it – more other people will think about. Thinking something for a while again helps them to adjust theirselves to the idea. The easiest approach is food since our whole family loves planning dinners – Sharing a few links to delicious recepies and food pictures.. And voila, faster than they even notice I have brain washed the whole family with me to the christmas circus. Everytime when I succeed in the game – I’m happy but also the whole family spends more time together. So it is a win-win situation for all.

If somehow my game isn’t perfect and  I dont get what I want (like a real christmas tree), best way to get it is to start talk about it with my nephews and convince them that they want the same thing as me.  They are younger and cuter so they usually get what they want, like last year 😉


Then, imagine a situation when you are in a country where no one believes in your Joulupukki-bullshit. Yes, I put myself into a country of Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas who comes on the 5th of December with Zwarte Piet. Sinterklaas who lives in Spain. Am I the only one who doesnt understand this at all? Like Santa who lives in Spain?
However, part of the living abroad thing is obviously that you try to integrate to the culture so after “melting” this thing a bit – I decided to believe in the Dutch Christmas tradition. At the same moment I realized that if I believe in it, I will have Christmas twice this year. More the merrier right?

(To explain to those who doesnt understand Joulupukki (Santa Claus). He lives in Lapland, Finland (of course). He works with the elfs (tonttu, plural; tontut) and deliver the gifts with Petteri Punakuono (a.k.a Rudolf the Rednose) on the 24th of December.)

Sinterklaas and Joulupukki still have something common. They both come from the chimney! So this year I will get a new tradition and hopefully maintain the christmas circus when I go back home for holidays.


And for those who still thinks that Joulupukki comes from North pole, here is an evidence that he lives in Finland – Very succesful reality serie straight from Joulupukki’s village.  Yes, I still watch every episode every year.

Okey, after a comment from the Santa Claus in Alaska – Lets just say that real Joulupukki lives in Lapland and real Santa Claus in Alaska.

Joulupukki. Joulu. Tonttu Toljanteri. Joulukalenteri. Joulu on taas!

2 thoughts on “Sinterklaas and Joulupukki (a.k.a Santa Claus)

  1. Dear Riia:

    It may surprise you to know that Santa Claus lives in North Pole, Alaska.

    My legal name is Santa Claus. No other country, including Finland, has ever had a citizen legally named Santa Claus. And, I am the only man named Santa Claus ever to live in North Pole, Alaska. Those are facts.

    North Pole, Alaska’s official saying is “Where the Spirit of Christmas Lives Year ‘Round.” So, I’m happy to learn that you enjoy celebrating Christmas early. The greatest gift one can give is love.

    Blessings, Santa

    1. Dear Santa,
      I am happy to hear from you. I am sorry for saying that you dont exists, and I will correct that real “Joulupukki” lives in Finland – that is how we call him in Finnish. He looks a bit like you but more Finnish of course. You made my day. Thank you for delivering such happiness to all every year!

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