|Moi moi! Santa came down from Finland!
It's Christmas time, so I'm here to hand out presents!
[Moi = Kind of an informal "Hi" in Finnish]
|Hello, this is Hana-tamago, whose last name was seriously in danger of becoming "Bloody".|
|Huh? You can talk today, Hana-tamago?|
|Something like that. Let's read a letter.
"I waited so long for Christmas!"
|I've been waiting too.
Yeah, let's celebrate Christmas together!
|"Actually, yesterday was my birthday, and I was happy to be a year older.
But the fate of being born in December means I always get my Christmas present as a birthday present too, and it's always the same as what my siblings get. And around junior high, I didn't get presents at all.
I was supposed to have birthday cake, but a mysterious Santa keeps intruding...."
I know it's selfish, but I want this year to be special!"
|It's true that when your birthday's near Christmas, they often get treated the same...|
|Right. Though I don't ACTUALLY know, because I'm a dog.|
|I've got it! I'll give you a special treat I've been saving!
[Salmiakki: Finnish name for salty licorice. An.. acquired taste.]
|Alright! Let's continue, shall we?|
|Don't continue giving out Salmiakki, though...
Anyway, here's Letter #2.
|"Finland Santa is so cute!!
If Finland and Hana-tamago are here, where's your husband Su-san?"
|He's not my husband!! I'm not a wife!|
I want a Santa that came from Finland, or rather,
I want Finland-kun himself."
|I'll come down the chimney tonight, then!|
|"I can't watch the Christmas project in real time, but I'm rooting for you! Be happy, everyone! *alone*"|
|Oh right, there are lots of people who have things to do over Christmas. Around here, everyone ignores the Labor Standards Act around Christmastime anyway.|
|Thanks for the support! I'll be cheering you on as well!|
|"Christmas means, eating cake with your family and decorating the tree, getting presents from your parents, and from Santa.
It should be a happy event, but my parents are devout Buddhists, and Santa doesn't come to my house.
I've grown up a little recently so I'm not that sad about it, but I don't want to stay an adult with the sad memories kept inside.
So, I want a Christmas tree and cake.
If France-niisan was a victim of a bloodbath this Christmas it would be fun."
|... Bl- Bloodbath?|
|I know, right?|
|When Christmas first became part of Finnish culture, the first Santas were a scary group of young people who wore goat masks and went from house to house demanding wine and hospitality. The people in those houses were victims too!|
|That's the most un-romantic Christmas ever.|
|I wonder what they mean by "bloodbath."|
Okay, let's keep going along.
|"To Santa from Finland (lol),
My cousin got poor marks on his exam, so he was told by his parents he wasn't receiving a gift.
I want to get a present for my cousin."
|Wow, that's pretty strict.|
|Got it! I'll send a present, then!
|It might actually be that they secretly got him a present.
I hope you do well on your next exam!
|Yes, I hope so too.
"To Santa Finland,
If you were to give Hana-tamago a present, what would it be?"
|Right! I should get Hana-tamago a present too...|
|... No food, please...|
|I'll give you something good I saved when we get home!|
|I have to escape before then!!|
|Er, well, going back to this...|
|"I wonder what will happen on Christmas Eve.
I'm really looking forward to the public bloodbath (who is it)?
Finland and Hana-tamago are so adorable!"
|S-so there really will be a bloodbath...|
|I wonder if it's a code for something?|
|Maybe Finland's Christmas is popular in Japan too!|
|... That's quite optimistic.|
|I'll do my best for Christmas!
Thanks for the compliments!
|Next is a somewhat long letter.
This is a story of my grandma decorating the Christmas tree.
The strings of our old ornaments became frayed, so we threw away most of them.
And then the tree seemed kind of sad...
Then my grandma came with dozens of "Traffic Safety Charm" "Longevity Charm" and "Good Luck Charm" ornaments, and started hanging them everywhere.
Seeing my grandma so proud of the tree, I couldn't say it out loud, but... frankly, the decoration scheme was horribly off-balanced. *cry*
Finland Santa, for my present, can you help with the tree decorations?
That's all! Good luck with Christmas!"
|Seems... kind of like a surreal scene to me...|
|No no, a good thing about Japan is that there is a high amount of talent for arrangement to match Japanese culture.|
|I see! Here's your ornaments, then!
|"Finland Santa-san! You're so cute!
Even though Christmas was starting to seem less and less fun every year,
now it feels like it's fun again.
Santa-san hasn't been coming recently, so can you bring me a present too?"
|Got it! I'm going over there now, so it'd help if you swept your chimney!|
|"Finland Santa is adorable!
I learned about Estonia's Christmas on TV today, it seems like if you don't do some kind of performance [singing a song, poems, etc.] you don't receive a present.
(Also, they use slippers instead of stockings.)
Since you're friends, have you seen this before, Finland?"
|Thank you! And, I'm always busy during Christmas so I haven't seen the slippers, but Estonians are really good at singing and performing! Estonian kids always get lots of presents.
But when it comes to odd Christmas customs, I'm still the top ranked!
|"I'm 17 years old and still waiting for Christmas!
But if France-san gave us a bloodbath I think Christmas would be even more fun!
Please be my wife! LOL
But if that's not possible, I want an electric guitar.
If you can, make it a Fender or a Rickenbacker...!
If I find a marriage registration or a guitar by my pillow on Christmas morning,
I think I can finish my winter work before the end of the year!
Well, let's all hope for a fun Christmas!"
|I can't marry you!
But I have something like a guitar in my house!
"Hello Finland-kun, Hana-tamago-kun!
I saw a Christmas tree that was put up in the shop in my building,
But for some reason there were a bunch of tansaku* (?) hung all over it..
[*tansaku: long cards for writing wishes, poems on]
'I hope I always stay friends with so-and-so!' 'I hope I passed my entrance exam!' 'I want a Chanel purse' etc... Is this really Christmas?
I have a feeling that the Japanese are mistaking it for Tanabata or something.
Please encourage what "Real Christmas" means!
But I would like for you to grant the wish of a kid who wrote "Santa-san, please bring me chocolate." Also, tell him not to write his "sa" backwards."
[*In Japanese letters, writing "sa" backwards looks like "chi", resulting in the kid writing something that sounds more like slang for "penis" than "santa."]
|That's true. Christmas is originally a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Christ. People traditionally sing hymns or pray quietly, but customs vary from country to country.
At America-san's house, New York's Christmas was so flashy and glitzy it surprised me.
And that typo sounds kind of dirty.
|"There seems... to be some sort of ominous shadow lurking beneath the prologue...
I have a weak stomach, so it would be nice if I received a Seirogan* from Finland-kun.
[* Beechwood extract used as a herbal remedy for diarrhea.]
Because it has a long history, the "ro" in "Seirogan" became the same kanji as the "ro" in the Japanese spelling of "Russia" as a result of the Russo-Japanese War.
If I'm going to get beaten to death by Russia-san, I'd like the present-day one to do it.
And yesterday, my teacher snapped and slammed the door as hard as he could, but he caught his own hand in it and smashed the bones of two of his fingers. So please cheer him up some too.
|Russia is scary...|
|I hope you and your teacher feel better! I'll go buy a Seirogan.|
|"Santa-san prepares lots of presents, but do you get any presents yourself?
If not, if you did get something what would you want?"
|I get lots of letters, but I usually don't get presents back. But as long as you are happy with your present, I'm happy too!|
|"To Finland Santa + Hana-tamago-chan
Moi moi! Merry Christmas!
Hana-tamago-chan gets to talk today, right?
I thought I would ask, what does Hana-tamago-chan usually eat?
And Santa-san, my Christmas wish is to see you hug Hana-tamagochan~"
|... Don't ask.|
What sort of presents do you give to countries that are your friends?"
|We have a party with everyone invited! There's food from all over the world. We try to have snow, but sometimes there isn't.|
It's nearly Christmas!
I'd like a cellphone-wallpaper size image of America-san's picture on the index!
Also, I'd like any of Santa's cooking.
|Finland's cuisine is delicious~
Is something like this okay for the wallpaper?
|"Thanks to Finland Santa, I love Christmas now!
By the way, if you had a Christmas party, you would serve Salmiakki Koskenkorva instead of champagne, right?"
|Wow, how did you know?|
|"To Santa-san from Finland,
The whole world is in a Christmas mood, isn't it?
Finland's Christmas seems so wonderful! Isn't it really, really cold this time of year in Finland?
One must see things like a frozen-to-death Santa, or deep-frozen presents scattered about. That's also wonderful in itself...
Please give my regards to Santa-san from France."
|Santa from France...?
Well, Santas born in Finland are used to the cold. We can even walk around with short sleeves in the Canadian winter!
|"Hello, Finland Santa-san!
On the day of Christmas, you must have so much work it's like the Labor Standards Act never existed.
I'm the oldest of six children, so every year I have to get presengs for all my younger siblings. So I can sympathize with all your hard work. *bitter laugh*
Santa-san is originally from Scandinavia, right?
I wonder if you could get help from Hana-tamago chan and the other Scandinavian countries with giving out presents? I think Su-san would definitely come to help dressed as Santa! My parents and I will also help out.
I hope Christmas is fun and not just work for you!"
|If Su-san helped, I think Santa would suddenly have a very frightening image.|
|It's a lot of hard work being Santa, but it's a job worth doing!|
|Hello, Finland Santa-san! (And France Santa-san?!)
Hana-tamago is so cute! Even if your last name is Bloody, I stil love you. So cute!
It seems like the one doing the bloodbath is France, but realistically my wish is to see the characters that don't appear much. Like Turkey..."
|Hello. Please don't mention the "Bloody" if you can.
I really wish I had a name like "Charlotte" or "Marianne" instead.
And Turkey is scheduled to appear on the 25th.
|"Hi, Fin-santa-san and Bloody Hana-tamago-chan!
I'm spending my last Christmas as a teenager stuck at work.
Santa Claus is part of the service industry, right?
It doesn't seem like you do much direct customer interaction, but it seems like a lot of work! You have to slide down chimneys and such.
I'm sorry I won't get to witness the bloodbath, but I feel revived seeing Fin-santa and Hana-tamago!"
|Let's both work hard on Christmas!
I suppose Santa is part of the service industry.
Lately there have been lots of kids who stay up late, so I often get caught...
Ever since I was little, I've been writing letters to Santa asking for things that I want, but every year on Christmas all I get is an assortment of candy. What's this supposed to mean, Santa-san?"
|Moi! Hmm... I suppose it's because the Santa was Finnish?|
|"Hello! Finland Santa and Hana tamago, you're so cute!
I haven't thought of something to ask for, but I'd like a present filled with love!
If you have a candid photo of Su-san (your husband), I'd treasure it forever."
|He's not my husband!!|
|A present filled with love, huh...
I'll look for something!
|It won't be that rotten canned stuff, will it...?|
|Wait a sec! I've got this!
Seeing a cute Santa cheers me up so much!
People say that Finnish cuisine and English cuisine are both horrible,
but do you like English food, Finland-kun?"
|Yep! I think curry and cornflakes are delicious!|
|"Hello and merry Christmas Eve, Finland-kun!
It's almost time for me to go to school, but for a present, I wish I was better in academics. *desperate*
Oh yeah, between yourself and Su-san, who does most of the cooking? Is it you, Finland-kun? How is Su-san doing?"
|We usually take turns, but Su-san often likes to volunteer to cook too. He's very hardworking.|
|Su-san is doing fine!|
|"I have to work by myself over Christmas, but Moi Moi Santa has made me feel better. For a present, I'd like to see Hana-tamago's cute little paw. Even if it's over the monitor, I want to poke it!"|
| Here you go.|
|"Finland-san, Hana-tamago-san, Merry Christmas.
Good work giving out presents!
You're so lovely, Hana-tamago-san! And I was excited to see a different side of Finland.
It's getting close to the cutoff to ask for Christmas presents, but I had to ask...!
It's okay if you can't, but I wanted to see the other Scandinavian countries besides Su-san and Finland-san.
I've been wondering about it too long! At this rate, I won't even have a good New Year's!"
|You mean Denmark and Norway?!
You don't have to worry that much...
|I think I have a picture somewhere...
I'll look around.
|Sorry, this is all we had...|
|"Hello Finland Santa-san and Hana-tamago-chan!
Instead of a present, please answer my question!
Do you ever take presents to other countries?
Also, what's the most difficult present you've ever been asked to get?
And Hana-tamago-chan, do you like Su-san or Finland-san better?
Do your best on Christmas! (Watch out for France-niisan...)"
|There are lots of us Santas, so we each only have our specific jurisdictions. But lots of other countries are split into different parts, so you can go distribute presents pretty much anywhere in the world.
It's tough when people say things like "I want a polar bear" or "I want an older brother."
Thanks for all your hard work.
Unfortunately, I don't have any Koskenkorva, so I'll cheer you on while I'm having my Samane vodka*.
Please come by Japan too!"
[*Apparently a type of Lithunanian vodka?]
|Thank you very much! Hope I see you around!|
|"Jingle bells, jingle bells!
Hello, Finland Santa-san and Hana-tamago-chan!
For a present, I want a handsome Germany! I even made a stollen today!
I don't have a significant other to spend Christmas with, so can I write what I'm hoping for here?
I want to eat something Finland cooked..."
|Yay! I'm really good at cooking, you know!
Okay, I'll do my best!
|It's a roast muikku! A muikku is sort of like a trout. It's used quite often in Finnish cuisine. They can only be found in the lakes around my house, so I often share them with Su-san.
When I hear people say they eat trout in Japan, I feel a certain affinity with them.
|Oh, THIS is actually something I like.|
|Ah! Germany is coming on Christmas, too!|
|"Moi moi! Merry Christmas!
Last year around this time, I found out that my senpai I had a crush on had a girlfriend, so I had a pretty terrible Christmas.
Even though it's been a year, I'm still sad...!
Please comfort me, Santa.
I'm not going to say I want England to comfort me!! Nope, definitely not!"
|Being rejected sure is tough.|
|But it would also be tough to bring England by... That guy's Christmas usually is...|
|Yeeees! What about me?|
|Oh, just in time!
England-san, we were hoping you could comfort this girl who had her heart broken...
|A broken heart... yeah, that is hard...|
|(He randomly snapped out of it!)|
|When someone that you really care about won't return it in the same way, it's difficult, but you won't move on if you get crushed by it. It's happened to me where I spent 100 years of heartbreak just being hung up on the past...|
|There are over 60 million people in the UK! There ought to be one good fellow in there! Ta-ta, then! *hic*|
|... It's probably better if we let him go now.|
|It seems like he's enjoying his life.|
|"Good evening, Finland Santa and Hana-tamago-chan!
I had to be hospitalized so I'm spending Christmas Eve in my hospital room.
If you're still taking present requests, I'd like to hear about what kind of people the three Benelux countries are! I might even get released early~
Well, take care and do your best!|
|Moi! Benelux must be referring to those three.
Netherlands is a tall, muscular guy who's in super good shape!
After all, he beat up Spain, who was in control of him during Spain's golden age.
And he likes young women (too young?) and also thinks some shady drugs are okay, so he's kind of a punk in that way.
He fought over the title of "The Tulip Country" with Turkey (Turkey has been cultivating them since the era of the Ottoman Empire, so he said his history was longer), but Netherlands is more famous by far so he wins I suppose.
His younger sister, Belgium, has fought her brother along with Spain before. So their sibling relations might not be so good...
She's a taller girl who wears a ribbon and has very pretty blonde hair. She's mature and has a cheerful personality, but doesn't stand out much because of the people surrounding her.
Luxembourg has a family that was once said to rival the famed Hapsburg line. A very elegant person!
Is that good?
|It's cold out, so take care of yourself!|