Officially winter began a few days ago, but if you live in Finland the darkness, snow and cool frigid air have been hanging around for several weeks already. They say that February is the coolest month in Finland, but since late November the temps have already dipped down in the single digits Fahrenheit (minus 10 or more Celsius). Mother nature ushered in a blizzard in late November to remind me once again that I no longer live in California where people are complaining about a little "cold", rain and frost in the mornings. The snow fall has been quite steady on and off for several weeks now and I am learning what it means to do "snow work" in my new home. Our current home has a long driveway and the snow must be shoveled at least once or twice per day after a hard snowfall. I think I am getting used to it, at least it is good exercise. We have received approximately 27+ inches of snow (70 centimeters) this December. This is a great amount even by Finnish standards this early in the season.
The benefits of the snowfall is that it helps to combat the darkness by brightening things up a bit and it gives the kids many creative things to do outside after school. It is also fun to get out and go cross country skiing or walking in the winter wonderland. I am actually very happy to be able to celebrate a White Christmas this year which will be a first for me. In California where I grew up it would be virtually impossible to get snow on Christmas and there was always this romanticism tied to the notion of a "White Christmas". Therefore this year is really a special and unique Christmas for me and my family. I wanted to wish all my family, friends and other blog readers a safe and happy holiday season. I started my expat blog one year ago and have really appreciated the support and comments. Cheers and Happy New Years!