Touko’s letter to Hely, 27 December 1970

Sunday 27 December

Dear Hely and family,

Merry Christmas and thank you for the lovely presents.

It’s Sunday already, we’ve been relaxing and I wouldn’t mind if this went on for another few days. It’s so nice to forget the everyday hassle and worries and just do what I want to for a while.

We tried to make it a proper Christmas. I bought a tree as soon as I saw them being sold in the park under our window. We kept it on the balcony until Christmas. There was a snowstorm, and by the time we took it in, it was a frozen ball of snow. But it turned out to be really pretty when it had thawed, and it made us wash the floor, too.

Nipa and I went to buy presents for each other just before the shops closed on Christmas Eve. It’s a good way to do it. Firstly, there aren’t too many people in the shops in town and secondly, when you go shopping together, you are free to choose what you like. Nipa bought me funny pyjamas and I got him a pair of sunny yellow curtains, which we sewed and hung up with some help from Kaija on Christmas Day. Kaija came over in the afternoon on Christmas Eve and went back home on Christmas Day. She decorated the tree and was really pleased with herself. She said she couldn’t remember the last time she decorated a tree, it was that many years ago.

We had kind of Christmas-y food. We decided that we’ll have lutefisk next year, too. Minna-Maarit and her daughter came over in the evening. Her daughter, Titti, had arrived home for Christmas unexpectedly from Rome, where she currently works. This surprise caused Minni a headache; she always gets one when something out of the ordinary happens. It’s a shame.

We’ve also met other friends who’ve returned to Finland for Christmas. Vuokko Kauppinen did not come this year as she was here on holiday in late October. Kaija and Pirjo Marttila will be over for dinner today since we still have lots of food left.

I’m funny that way, I always buy too much food. Last year I bought an enormous amount, so I tried to go easy this year but ended up buying too much again. I just get greedy. I feel that we should have all sorts of delicacies at Christmas.

We haven’t adopted the idea spread by some radicals that we shouldn’t indulge ourselves since there are people starving in some places in the world. It won’t help make them better-nourished if we don’t eat, or even happy since they wouldn’t even know if we were fasting out of compassion.

The days should be longer again, but it’s very grey today. Nipa just had a bath and I think I’ll do the same now. It’s such a pleasure to soak in peace and quiet.

Best wishes and all the best for the new year, Touko