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As we all know, the Moomins hibernate during winter, oblivious to the cold and snow outside – and also ignorant of the hectic preparations leading up to the holiday season. In The Fir Tree, one of the short stories in Tales from Moominvalley, Jansson describes the Moomin family’s unexpected encounter with Christmas. They are mystified by the fuss and curious goings-on, with the Hemulens stressing about food and presents, the woodies beside themselves with excitement, and Gaffsie running around with parcels and paper bags under her arms. Amid the pandemonium, the Moomins wonder aloud who or what this much-touted “Christmas” is supposed to be.
The Christmassy tale celebrates Tove Jansson’s relaxed, laid-back attitude to life and her love of parties and hospitality. We can all relate to the annual challenge of organizing a memorable Christmas amid the stress and fuss that usually accompanies the lead-up to the holidays. The tale ends with all the characters enjoying a serene Christmas Eve together beneath the decorated tree, the candles glowing, the Christmas decorations shimmering in the darkness, the tables groaning with delicious treats, and the carefully selected gifts adding to the joyous moment born of friendship, warmth and shared affection.
No matter how you feel about Christmas and holiday preparations, you are welcome to join in the Moomin Museum’s festive programme this December. If the stress is getting to you, the museum is the perfect place for a break from the pre-holiday rush – after all, the Moomins don’t usually celebrate Christmas. If, however, you’re a self-avowed “Christmas person”, you are invited to take part in the Museum’s special holiday events. Take the edge off the excitement by joining our Christmas workshop, where you can make decorations for your Christmas tree at home. Our Christmas workshop was inspired by the short story The Fir Tree and by the three-dimensional tableau created by Tove and her partner Tuulikki Pietilä. The lavish decorations on the Christmas tree in the tableau were found or hand-made by Tove and Tuulikki. There is a silk rose at the top of the tree, and the branches are heavy with crystals, seashells, items of jewellery and other trinkets. If you get tired of your own tree at home, drop in at our workshop after Christmas and brighten it up with a new decoration – it is open until January 6.
If you’re one of those people who believe that Christmas is the very best time of the year, then be sure to drop in at our museum on a December weekend. Take a seat, get cosy, and listen to a live reading of the The Fir Tre. If you drop in after Christmas, you might be lucky enough to meet one of our special Moomin Christmas characters who will be hosting readings between Christmas and New Year!
You are invited to attend English readings of The Fir Tree at 3.00 pm (in Finnish at 1.00 pm) every Saturday and Sunday, 1–2.12, 8–9.12, 15–16.12 and during opening hours from 27.12.18 to 6.1.2019.
Our Christmas decoration workshops are from noon to 4.00 pm during museum opening hours from 1.12.2018 to 6.1.2019.
The workshops and readings are included in the cost of museum admission.