As a kid I was sure that one day I would just pack my backpack with a sandwich and a jacket and leave for Lapland. Just before Christmas, this wish would grow stronger and stronger. This was the time when my parents would read one of my favorite books to me: Santa Claus and His Elves by Mauri Kunnas*. Did any of you ever read this book? My volume was soon well-worn and I am not sure if it still exists in a box on any attic.
It tells the story of Santa Claus and his wife and hundreds of little elves who live in a city in Lapland and how they work to produce and wrap presents for all kids around the world. On Christmas Eve – when Santa leaves the place to distribute the presents, the elves prepare a feast and they also do celebrate Christmas. In my imagination Lapland became one of the coolest places on earth and I still want to go there – although my interests have changed and I would not want to search for Santa Claus only.
Once I have managed my freezing feet problem or found shoes that will definitely keep my feet warm in the cold, I will leave for Northern Finland to hike in the ice and snow, do a reindeer sleigh ride and watch the polar lights illuminate the dark winter skies. And maybe, I will search for traces of Christmas. Which means that I want to find out why – of all places – Santa Claus is supposed to be living in Lapland.
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