The McKinley School Gym in quaint Fairport Harbor, Ohio revelled in the sights and sounds so dear to all Christmas lovers with a "Pikku Joulu" celebration on December 10, 2005.

Pikku Joulu Director, Mrs. Jovette Hiltunen fashioned a program that was designed to appeal to all ages, from the tiniest child to the senior citizen. Hiltunen presented the True Story of Joulu Pukki (Santa Claus). Of course, this version is truer than most, since it was given under "museum" sanctions. (Heh, heh!) She answered the critical question of where Santa really lives, also. Joulu Pukki actually lives in Rovaniemi, Finland and can be visited during the year. This refutes the popular opinion that he lives at the North Pole.

Hiltunen also read aloud the Christmas Peace Proclamation which is given annually in Finland's Christmas City of Turku, and has been for many years. The proclamation was orally reaffirmed by the audience.

sauna boys_
Also featured will be a Fun Finglish Celebration of the perils of combined Finnish and English language with a "sauna scene" complete with the story of the arrival of Santa as Heino would recall it. It too was punctuated with electronic slides and sounds. The sauna boys (FHM Director Gene Kangas and the webmaster, Lasse Hiltunen provided the "masterful" reading of Finglish.

This lead to the arrival of Joulu Pukki and Mrs. Pukki who actually are Mr. Kauno Kallio (a veteran Joulu Pukki impersonator) and his cousin, Jane Hiltunen. The two provided excitement which only a Pukki presence could bring. All children present recieved gifts from Pukki, while other "lucky" adults had their raffle tickets pulled and also received gifts. Everyone present got a peppermint candy cane.

The evening concluded with demonstrations of the international tango, the Argentinian Tango and the Finnish Tango followed by lessons given to anyone courageous enough to try to learn. The dance is notably Finnish (remember the 60 Minute story feature) and will provide fun and excitement. About a dozen couples braved foot-tangling humiliation and actually learned the basic steps, and by many verbal accounts, "had real fun," "ja, oly hauskaa!"

Children's activities were available during dance time where they made Christmas cards, made Finnish flags, and wrote letters to Pukki.

Traditional coffee, nissu, and pipparkaku cookies (and others) were available for refreshment. The Museum Store also sold exclusive items.










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