Linda and Annabel - Päkapikks and Christmas Magic!

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Oh how I love my little Estonian Päkapikk! She came all the way across land and sea from Estonia, just to live with me!!

She is a gift from my friend Linda who, through her blog Mermaids Makings, first introduced me to these sweet and generous little Elf-like creatures who leave sweet treats in the shoes of all good Estonian children every night of Advent.

Of course, I fell immediately in love with the Päkapikk tradition and created a couple ornament size Päkapikk for my tree.

Linda and her family went home to Estonia to spend the Christmas holidays and I still can't believe it but while she was there she ordered the beautiful Päkapikk you see above from her friend and doll maker, Sirtsuk. And as soon as "Pam" was embroidered on the doll's sweater, Linda shipped her off to me!

Päkapikk Pam will be sitting out all year long. There is no way I can put her away!

Town Hall and Town Hall Square at night during Christmas

Before Linda left England for Estonia, she prepared the text for "Christmas Magic in Estonia" so that I could share Estonian Christmas customs and traditions with all of you during December!

I did a lot of research online so that I would have background knowledge about Christmas in Poland, Japan and Estonia; so I speak from experience when I tell you that the "canned" information available on so many sites can not possibly tell the Christmas stories as beautifully as have my friends Linda, Kathy and Arielle.

Linda begins with pre-Christian era celebrations surrounding Yule and describes holiday customs that some still observe to this day like taking Christmas bread and hay to the barn for domestic animals and also to the forest for the forest animals. Some Estonians still observe Christmas eve by visiting the graves of loved ones.

And how many of us know that our beloved Christmas tree tradition began in the region now occupied by Estonia and Latvia in 1441!

She shares what it was like to celebrate Christmas in secret during the Soviet Union occupation, and how much, as a young girl, she looked forward to a visit from a "real" Father Christmas and special dishes and treats served during the Christmas meal.

I know - it is not Christmas - but if you were too busy to read Linda's story in December, take a little time to enjoy it now.

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Look at these beautiful Woven Yarn Stars! Linda just recently created them using the colors of the Estonian flag and embellished them with barn swallows and blue corn flowers - the national bird and flower of Estonia!

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And she made these lovely Yarn Stars to give as gifts to her sister and brother during the holidays! Her sister loved the stars so much she requested that Linda make her a gift of woven yarn stars every year!

Shortly after I published the Yarn Star tutorial, Linda and I exchanged a few stars we made for each other. What especially delights me is that she always finds new ways to create them! Look at these stars she made for me!! She used eyelash yarn and they are brilliant!

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Linda and her daughter Annabel are the maids behind Mermaids Makings! And Annabel is often busy working in her very own "Card Factory" making Valentine Cards, Gingerbread Men Cards and Kaardids to celebrate Estonian Independence Day!

Whenever I log on to Mermaid's Makings, I never know what I am going to find - but it is always worth a visit! Most of their craft projects and games are created using recycled materials like these holiday bells made using egg cartons.

And when I found this post - I just burst out laughing in delight! I soooo must have one of these in my own kitchen! OMG! I am still giggling!

Annabel, I am so enjoying watching your creative skills grow and develop through your mother's ever present guidance. I dearly love my Christmas card and will treasure it always.

Linda, thank you for so generously sharing your homeland, sending me my beautiful Päkapikk, sharing your Christmas story and most of all for your continued friendship.

AND for turning me on to the wonderful cooking site - Nami Nami! Estonian Yellow Split Pea Soup with Smoked Pork for Shrove Tuesday? Count me in!

I adore ADORE that her little

I adore ADORE that her little shirt/dress says PAM on it! Priceless.

I love those yarn stars so

I love those yarn stars so much!

I love making and gifting

I love making and gifting different ornaments each year. I like to teach the nieces/nephews about traditions and being able to tell a story each year.

*Don't know how I missed the fridge snowman lol. It will be on my fridge next Winter*

Such pretty gifts! I get

Such pretty gifts! I get little gnomes and angels that mom makes for Christmas, and I adore that kind of hand made gifts. :-)

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