Dozens of people gathered in front of Stockmann’s Christmas window that rolled up the blinds on Saturday, November 6, 2021. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today / Click to view the gallery

HELSINKI—Christmas lights of the Stockmann department store illuminate the dim, snowless street in Helsinki center just before four on Saturday afternoon.

Dozens of people—mothers, fathers and children—are standing in front of the large windows of the store that have been covered with roller blinds that promise with a large green font: “Something new is coming!”

These people are not waiting for the latest family discounts to appear in the windows. No! They are filled with the Christmas spirit! Some of the people in their 40s have been here 35 years ago, impatiently waiting to get a glimpse of the fairy tale windows that change yearly.

The clock strikes four. The blinds roll up slowly.

“Lovely!” describes Linda, a mother, who is holding Vida, 3, in her arms.

“What did you think about the window? Was it lovely?” Linda asks Vida.

Vida nods her head.

“Was it beautiful?”

Vida nods.

“Was it the first time you saw the window?”

Vida keeps nodding.