Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Image result for christmas in finland

    In Finland, Christmas is celebrated from 24th to 26th of December. Preparations for the festival begin from approximately a month ago with many Finnish people buying the Christmas treedecorative items and gifts and goodies for the season. Houses are cleaned and special treats like gingerbread cookies and prune tarts prepared for the oncoming festive season. In Finland, Santa might also be known as Joulupukki!
    The first Sunday in December (also called the First Advent) starts the Finnish Christmas season. Christmas lights begin to appear in the stores along with gifts, goods and goodies for the festival. Children count the days to the festival making their own Christmas calendar with some great pictures related to the Christmas theme or even some chocolate caramel.

    In Finland the Christmas tree is set up on Christmas Eve. Fir trees are felled, tied onto sleds, and taken home to be decorated beautifully with candies, paper flags, cotton, tinsel, apples and other fruits. Candles are used for lighting the trees. Many women make a visit to some local sauna to groom themselves for the occassion.
    Christmas here is replete with different homegrown customs. In Finnish rural areas, it is a popular tradition for farmers to tie a sheaf of grain, nuts and seeds on a pole and placing it in the garden for the birds to feed on. Only after birds eat their dinner, the farmers partake of their Christmas dinner.

    Christmas dinner traditionally begins in Finland with the appearance of the first star in the sky. Dinner is served between 5-7 pm, and consists usually of roasted pig or a roasted ham and vegetables. The main dish is boiled codfish, served white and fluffy, along with allspice, boiled potatoes, and cream sauce. A week ahead of the dinner, the codfish is soaked in a lye solution to soften it. Once the dinner is complete, children head straight to bed while adults chat and drink coffee until about midnight. Other important traditions of the day consist of a visit to the Christmas mass. Many Finnish families also visit cemeteries to remember the dead and have porridge for lunch. Joyful carols and local Christmas songs also form an essential part of Christmas Eve festivities.
    On Christmas Day, church services start out early at six in the morning. Most people visit families and friends. Family get-togethers are the high point of this day. Christmas cards are being exchanged and everyone wishes another "Hyvaa Joulua", meaning "Merry Christmas" in Finnish.


    I have been seeing a great many Christmas articles lately and there is a question that should be answered at this time of year. What did the "Three Kings" see? A common Question to be sure and it does tickle the mind for Christians that believe something came to pass, that could not have been ordinary.
    So where do we start on this small exposition? Let's start with the Kings. We know them as Kings however, they were not really "Kings", they were scientist priests, well versed in astrology and were most honored by the ruling class of that time and place. The word "king" was used by the Christian writer Tertullian in 120 A.D. when speaking of the priests as Magi. What made these men so important during the time of Christ's birth was their ability to interpret the celestial heavens, in particular, heralds.

   Because the Magi found prognostic events within the night sky, the Hebrews of that time and place found this constituted a form of divination and thus, was considered pagan and could never have been acknowledged by their God, Yahweh. Therefore, the Magi must have come from outside the Hebrew country and according to the bible, they came from the east (Mathew 2:1). The Magi were Hellenists or Greek and therefore would have come from the east to the Judea countryside, just as the bible state correctly.
    The Magi used calculations that took into account the orbital mechanics of the solar system and constellations afforded by the sky. That is, where a certain planet or constellation would be in the future. This form of astrology was vastly different from the simplistic observational positions the Babylonians used. Did they see a star or predict one? No. They did not. So what happened to generate such a willingness to travel vast distances to a specific location searching for a specific individual? They studied planetary motion, not a people or a place.

Night sky Constellations

    Remember the herald? 2,000 years ago the stars that individuals and the Magi saw at night were constant in their count and placement within the sky. For this reason they were given shapes and those shapes took many forms. We know them today as the zodiac and because some constellations passed over certain countries and lands, they took the meaning of those countries and lands.
The constellation known as Aries had the symbol of a Ram and related to Syria, Idumea and Judea. In 6 A.D. the area of Judea was placed under Syria. Prior to, it was independent. Therefore, any person seeking council from the zodiac would have used the sign of an Aries or Ram for its portents. Additionally, because Judea was Incorporated with Syria and Herod was the King of Syria and Palestine, his astrologers would have also been monitoring that same constellation. The Magi could predict where certain signs would be and this was most revealing one morning.

Constellation of Aries

    Genesis 1:14 states, "And God said let there be lights in the firmament....let them be for signs". The Ram in this particular sign is a lamb, not fully grown as yet. The lamb means to reign, have dominion or government. Additionally, the ram considered was also crowned with a circle. The most ancient name for this animal was "Baraziggar" or the "sacrifice of the righteousness. This alone would not have induced the Magi to travel so far, so what was the importance? It is, I believe, that the observation seen by the Magi was so statistically unbelievable that its occurrence had never happened or would never happen again. They had to be in wonder and awe beyond belief. All the planets that represented a king using Aries as the sign would have: the sun, Jupiter and Saturn in it. No big deal, it occurs every sixty years. The second point regarding a royal birth for consideration was the placement within the sky. Another point is whether the sign is ascending in the east or setting in the west as well as what signs are in procession. There is also a consideration of where the rising signs are located, meaning if their locations in the sky are closer to the horizon or at the highest point in mid heaven during their observation, all of this is very significant.

    The sun and moon have their role to play as well. The sun is considered to be of the most regal signature (Sun: King, moon: Queen) and have five planets that attend it because of that issue. The last piece of this puzzle was exaltation. This can be defined as the planetary location within a specific sign. Example: If the Sun were in The Aries. This would give impetus to the Sun's power in regal stature. Bright lights were important also. If Jupiter was seen as a bright light in a certain sign, which would lend importance to the overall signature event.
    On April 17, 6 B.C., the morning sky must have rendered the Magi into an unbelievable state. Was there a star, no? In the morning sky, was an unfolding event so rare as to defy anything they had ever seen or could hope to ever see.

    Aries was in ascendant, rising over the eastern horizon. All seven planets were in that Judea sign. This get better. When the Aries was in the mid heaven position, all seven planets were also in the Judea sign. Continuing, the Sun was in exaltation within the sign of The Aries at dawn and mid heaven along with both ruling planets of Jupiter and Saturn. The guardians of the sun being Jupiter and Saturn, proceeded immediately before the rising dawn. This was not all. The attendants of the moon (Queen), Mercury and Mars were there as well.
    The Magi had to be stunned on April 17, 6 B.C., someone of incredible significance was born, or about to be born in Judea. Probabilities of this magnitude "defy statistical quantification". The statistical alignments of seven planets in a specific orbital location, in front of specific stars that are moving through space and light years away at a specific point in the rotation of earth, all in motion and with different orbital mechanical probabilities, defy its occurrence. Yet, that is what happened.
That is why the Magi were compelled to travel to a distant location they were not aware of. Also, they were indeed guided by a planetary source but it was not just one star.


(Dremel Video Tutorial)Engraved and Illuminated Ornaments 

This is a big day for me! I'm excited (and nervous) to be presenting my first ever VIDEO TUTORIAL

Yes, a little movie! In it I'll show you how to engrave plastic ornaments so you end up with these amazing creations:


And then, once you have them engraved, you can actually LIGHT THEM UP and they get even more amazing: 

Yep, a dollar store plastic ball ornament, a string of lights and a Dremel tool are all you need!

When Dremel asked me to create a project using their new  Dremel Micro™ 8050 tool, which is geared for hobbies and crafts, I decided I wanted to spruce up some ornaments.  

And this project doesn't have to be only Christmas oriented.  You could carve orange balls with jack-o-lantern faces for Halloween, or personalize them for a birthday or special occasion:

So how did I do it?

I originally wanted to take step by step photos, but it was harder to explain in still photos, than it was to just do it.. so the video was created.  Working with the Dremel Micro 8050 is so easy, since it is cordless, lightweight, and is compatible with the other Dremel rotary tool accessories.

If you don't have one yet, you can find dremel multi function tools at Home Depot or Amazon for about $50.  This is a great starter project to get your feet wet.  Check it out:

See? I told you it was super easy!  And now you know what I actually sound like! Not sure if it is what you expected.