In the 1960s Niilo Tarvajärvi, a Finnish radio and TV entertainer, hit on the idea of creating Joulupukinmaa in Lapland, calling it Santa Claus Land in English. Now after many difficulties, Christmas tourism seems to have started flourishing there. I think that the origin of his folly can be found in the fact that he was born on the 6th of December, the Day of St. Nicholas, and is also named for him. It is also the Finnish Independence Day. Thus he identified himself with both Finland and St. Nicholas, Santa Claus.

But is Santa Claus the same as the Finnish Joulupukki? I don't think so. I can imagine the faces of an English speaking audience - is she crazy? - if I tell them how Santa used wear horns in the old times. But it's only natural for Joulupukki, Yule He-Goat, to have had them. And why should all these bringers of year-end gifts be the same? Why not let Father Christmas, Tomten, Joulupukki, and what ever there are, keep their separate identities and origins, in spite of the temporal and functional similarity? Recently it seems that even the Russian Grandfather Frost has started to wear the Coca Cola red of the American Santa, instead of the traditional blue. It only remains to be seen when Christkindl will grow a beard.