I wake to a familiar and exiting feeling – it’s the dawn of Christmas Eve. I slowly get up and start making rice porridge and lighting candles. It’s dark and wonderfully quiet. The sauna has warmed up quietly while I did my morning chores. We enjoy a Christmas sauna in the morning, going there at our own pace, each with their own style.
For Christmas, the sauna has been thoroughly washed with pine soap and well aired. Clean linen has been set on benches. Pine branches have been brought to the sauna, and a birch whisk is thawing in the bucket. I light the lanterns in the in the washroom. In this way, the Christmas sauna gets its own Christmas festive attire. For me, it’s important to create just the right kind of atmosphere – one that brings well-being and calms the mind. The scents play an important role, bringing childhood Christmases to mind. The feeling is familiar and safe.
It’s still dim – and that’s good. Christmas sauna is sacred to me. That’s why I like to enjoy it alone. I get to stretch out fully along the bench boards. I stay in the sauna in complete silence. I relish the steam as long as possible – I have no rush to go anywhere yet. Even the final tension fades away when the steaming scent of birch whisk takes ovet the entire space.
A fresh birch whisk has a distinctive scent. That’s why I like to freeze mine already in the summer for the Christmas sauna. Taking a sauna with a birch whisk gives you a holistic experience. Your body, mind and soul will thank you. You’ll be feeling pretty perfect. While washing, I still give myself time in peace. Then, I rinse down the sauna and put a clean cloth in place. The sauna will stay warm for the next visitors. Now, it’s time to wake up the rest of the house for porridge.
The Christmas sauna is a gift for myself. It is an important tradition, and Christmas without a sauna would feel wrong. We have always had a sauna at Christmas since we were children. I want to maintain this tradition for my own child, as well. When and how you go to sauna is very personal. There’s no right or wrong way. Personally, I enjoy Christmas morning – that feeling before the preparations begin and the excitement intensifies. That’s when the sauna holds a special magic – the magic of Christmas.
What kind of Christmas sauna do you enjoy?
Anna Velten is sauna lover and Chief Operation Officer at Terhen