Prime Minister’s Christmas greeting
Christmas often comes with many expectations. They can be our own or those of others. This Christmas, I hope we can be kind to ourselves, despite the expectations. Not everything needs to be done by the end of the year – Christmas will arrive, even if it is somewhat unfinished.
These times have challenged us in many ways, and the message of gratitude, which is part of Christmas, now feels even more important than before.
This Christmas, our thoughts are with Ukraine. Many Ukrainians will have to spend this Christmas and winter without electricity, water or heat, as Russia continues to bomb their country’s cities and infrastructure.
Now, at Christmastime, the plight of the Ukrainians weighs especially heavily on our hearts. No one would ever wish for a Christmas like this. Many of us want to help Ukrainians and show our support during the holidays. Each and every one of us can do our part, be it by giving our time, making a donation to a relief organisation, or in some other way that suits us.
Besides the situation in Ukraine, many people are worried about their livelihoods and those of their loved ones. We in Finland are also paying a price for Russia’s brutal war of aggression – energy, heat and food have all become more expensive. This is especially hard on people with low and middle incomes. The Government has made efforts to mitigate the excessive impact of energy prices on Finnish households. It is clear that Russia is using energy supplies to put pressure on Finland and Europe in an attempt to erode our united support for Ukraine. We will not bend under pressure and extortion.
The recent years have tested us, but we Finns are a perseverant people. The darkest day of the year is now behind us, and we are slowly moving towards the light of spring. In the Nordic region, the turn towards spring has always been cause for celebration. In the darkness of winter, Christmas is a time to wind down, reflect and spend time with our loved ones.
In these exceptional times, it feels like we need Christmas more than ever. This Christmas, I hope we can all pause for even just a moment and celebrate in a way that feels meaningful.
I wish you all a peaceful Christmas!