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22 Ways Finland Wins Christmas

You won't find anywhere more beautiful at this time of year.

1. A lot of people insist on calling this stuff snow.

2. But unless your icicles do this...

3. And your trees look like this...

4. And your snowmen are this big, it doesn't count.

5. And although such heavy snow can make it difficult for Finns to get their cars started...

6. Once they get going, they're allowed to drive on lakes.

7. And if they don't fancy driving, they can always rent out husky-drawn sleighs.

8. Of course, huskies aren't the only animals that work throughout Finnish winters.

9. This guy employs a fair few reindeer too.

10. And because he lives so near by, Finns get their presents a day early.

11. In fact, Christmas Eve is the main day Finns celebrate on.

12. They start the day with a hearty bowl of rice pudding.

13. After lunch there's always a sauna visit, followed by a dip in a lake.

14. And plenty of glögg.

15. Ice lanterns are big in Finland.

So if you go for an afternoon walk, you'll see them everywhere. And because the sun sets at 3pm, they always look magical.

16. It's traditional to burn advent candles as you eat dinner.

Which usually involves a ham roast served with mustard, salt-cured salmon and rutabaga casserole (which is kind of a cross between turnip and cabbage casserole).

17. What's for pudding? YUMMY SCRUMMY PRUNE TARTS.

18. And leipajuusto. Which, BTW, is the best thing in the world.

19. In some parts of Finland, you can rent out globes to sleep in and watch the Northern Lights.

20. Which is the most breath-taking thing.

21. Also, the Moomins love Christmas.

22. Look at these little elves! Finland wins Christmas.