I know it has not really begun yet * although it is just around the corner, and we had the first little hint of snow now, so I did a little cheating and hung up the first Christmas lights at home already! November is so dark anyway, but I did wait with the stars and advent lights so far though. Plus, I have different led-and fairy lights at home all year round so in some ways I sort of have a Christmas all the time (much to the joy of my husband).
*) other than in all the stores, everywhere,  right after Halloween as usual and apparently, as I heard, at Ikea already in October...

Then, because I had some extra banans hanging around (they sometimes tend to do that, become extras that just stay there and turn way too dark all of a sudden) I baked a chocolate-banana cake. Vegan.  It was good. Had it wit the first glögg (mulled wine/glühwein. Altough -yes really- this was the wine free version. More like spiced warm juice  really) of the year to go along. And as I was in the pre-Christmas mood I put some gingerbread spices in the cake too. Muy bueno. We can have a closer look on the how-to some other time.

I have said it before, I really am a Christmas person. The Holidays could last for at least a month and a half for all that I care. Well it usually does, as we seldom manage to get the Christmas tree out before the end of January. Ehrm. But mostly I am a "Christmas person" on the inside - for the past decade I have always been so busy I never manage to do that whole cal-getting-in-the-mood-and-relax-thing, where I have lights and candles and tingling everywhere and bake and make goodies for weeks and make and sew presents to all of my friends and family (one year I actually did, but that was a long time ago). It's more the thought of it I suppose, the same with the thought of autumn where I always wear knits and scarves and go out on walk in colourful crispy cold woods and come back home and drink cocoa. That which I have done perhaps once the last five years. Perhaps.  As with most other things and times and seasons in life, it comes surprisingly fast and is over before you know it. This year will be no different as I have lots of shows to do and classes to teach ahead of me still, and producing no less than two events within two weeks. But then I will try my best to take it easy and bake and prepare and all that and plan, make and shop gifts; I do love to hand out presents!

Speaking of which. This one here is mainly for my readers in Finland; a little hint if you plan to do some, or even some more of your Christmas shopping online, one that I had almost forgotten about myself but that comes in handy this time of year - do so via Ostohyvitys! Sign up and shop. This of course applies to all your purchases all year round as well, as you get various discounts (money refunded to your bank account) at most major online stores, both Finnish and international ones such as Apple Online store & iTunes, asos, cdon, Finnish Design Shop and The Body Shop to name a few, as well as at various smaller speciality stores, when you shop via the site. That, and discounts on many services and on magazine-subscriptions and at several travel companies etc. The system is very smart and it is easy to use - log in and then navigate to the store you want to make a purchase from and receive the discount in euros to your bonus account (and later to your bank account ). Well, as I do very little shopping nowadays I have forgotten to use the service the times I have actually bought something, so this serves as a good reminder for myself as well!

And ahoy! As a reader of my blog you will now get a 10euro gift card to use at any of the S-group stores (S-ryhmä) when you sign up and make your first purchase at any of the stores and services via the site (within 90 days).
Sign up here for more info and in order to receive the gift card: Ostohyvitys / S-ryhmän lahjakortti

Disclaimer: nothing in this post is in any way sponsored or paid for by Ostohyvitys but I am part of their affiliate network and can thus offer you the chance of to receive the gift card.