2020 - Festivities

The Independence Day Ball at the Presidential Castle is about to start and Ken and Kaarna are invited. Dress up, comb your hair, put on some makeup!

Suddenly Ken realizes that Kaarna is not breathing normally. 
- What’s wrong?!
- I can’t do this... I don’t want to go to a stupid party... please... don’t make me go....
- Kaarna! We have been waiting for this! What’s going on now?
- Panic... attack... I’m... I... I... I can’t breathe...

- Kaarna.. get a grip on yourself now! It’s a once in a lifetime experience to get invited to the Presidential Castle!
- .......
- Here, take some oxazepam. You’ll feel better then.

Ken gives Kaarna a tranquillizer, but it seems to be too strong for her as she can’t stay up anymore.
- Ken... Don’t make me go... I can’t...
- True, you can’t. And I can’t drag you to the Castle. You have to stay here and watch it all on tv. I will wave to you if I spot the tv cameras! I really must hurry now!

Ken rushes to his car! It’s a three hour drive to Helsinki and he’s late so he has to drive like a maniac. Better hope all the policemen are at their homes enjoying a nice and quiet independence day.

He made it! He really did! Without speeding tickets, or car crashes! He’s among the last ones entering the hall and very soon he will shake hands with the president Niinistö and his wife Mrs. Haukio. Ken isn’t a fan of our president at all as he voted for another candidate, but who cares right now.
Ken is wearing his old wedding dress that he modified for this occasion with a vintage lace shawl.

Kaarna is smiling happily (that oxe... something is one fine medicine!) when she sees Ken approaching the president and shaking hands. 
- My beautiful, gorgeous, sweet, perfect Ken. I love you so much! she mumbles very slowly because the drug makes everything a bit blurry.

Please follow @atelier.tea.o.rama to watch the TV broadcast of the reception at the presidential castle. 

Ken is like a social butterfly talking to everyone. Suddenly he sees his old girlfriend Barbie! What a pleasant reunion.
- You haven’t changed a bit, still as beautiful as always, he compliments.
- Oh Ken, thank you. But look at you! With the touch of gray in your hair you look even more charming than before. What a silver fox you will be after a few years! Are you alone here? So am I.
- May I have this dance then? The kadettes can wait!

Meanwhile at home Kaarna has fallen asleep and is dreaming of dancing in a magical forest with Ken! There are purple flowers and snowflakes, there is music coming from the tree tops. And suddenly Ellie and Damon are dancing with them and they are surrounded by hundreds of other familiar faces from Dollstagram! The best independence day ball ever!

When Ken comes home at early hours, he finds Kaarna sleeping on the floor. There are candies all over.
- Ken! I had the most wonderful time at Ellie’s dance party. That forest was magnificent!
- What on earth are you talking about? Ken laughs.

Ken invited his loved ones to have some cake and asked them all to wear sweaters because they missed the #dollsweaterparty last weekend.

Veli has even dressed Kultu up in a warm sweater. Once again Ken feels like asking if it was time to stop carrying her ashes around, but he can’t say it out loud.

- So, do you have any siblings, Kaarna?
- I have a younger sister, much younger than me. We were really close when she was little, but we grew apart as she grew up.

Ritva joins the conversation:
- When she grew up... well I’m thinking of growing down.
- What are you saying?
- I have been a tiny adult since I was born. I want to be a kid who I never was.

While the grown ups are talking about hideous American style ugly Christmas sweaters they saw on the stores, Ritva tries to be a kid and steals a candy cane from the tree. It tastes bad, since it’s been stored for years.

Ken has finished painting Kaarna’s kitchen walls.
- I love this color, Ken! Good choice!
- I assumed you might like blue.

He also painted his old chair to cheer up all the blue colors.

A shoe rack is an important piece of furniture to someone who owns too many sneakers.

The mugs and bowls Kaarna found on a flee market fit perfectly on the yellow shelves.

It’s been a long day so Kaarna prepares filled baguettes and microwave hot chocolate. 
- I will be just fine without a stove. 
- And when you do need one, just run to my kitchen!

- What do you want for Christmas, Kaarna?
- Warm winter boots. What about you?
- A refrigerator and an articulated body. A white winter or a trip to Hawaii. 
- Great. I’ll just buy you box of chocolates. I might afford that.
- I’m kidding. I always appreciate something handmade.

So, Ken wishes to get something selfmade for Christmas. Kaarna goes to the garage to look for some supplies. She can’t afford buying much of anything, so it’s great that Ken likes handmade stuff.

In the evening she enters Ken’s living room:
- Brrrrr I’m cold and hungry.
- Where have you been all day?!
- In the garage.
- Why? What are you doing there?
- That’s a forbidden question before Christmas! And you’re not allowed to go there before I say so.

Kaarna spends another day in the garage but suddenly she rushes in gasping for breath:
- Ken... Ken... blood... So much blood
- What happened?!
- I cut myself... that stupid carpet knife... help me!!!!!

- I can’t watch!!!! I’m going to faint!!! Horrible!!!!! Call an ambulance!!!!
- Kaarna, stop being such a drama queen! It’s just a scratch! Even I can fix this myself and I’m no paramedic. I’ll just press the wound and it will close itself...

- Oh, the bleeding stopped already?

Even a wounded hand doesn’t stop Kaarna from making a gift for Ken! She spends yet another day in the coldness of the garage.

- Look! It’s finished! I made a present for you! 
- Exciting! I can’t wait to open it! But let’s put it under the Christmas tree...
- Or better yet... let’s open it right now! I want to open mine too!

- But then we don’t have any gifts on Christmas Eve... Ken tries to suggest.
- We will survive, like the adults we are! Go on, open it! Or can I go first?! I’ll open this now!

Kaarna unwraps her present and finds a pair of warm winter boots.
- Are they real Lahtiset felt boots? 
- Yes, handmade and pure lamb wool.
- Thank you Ken!

Kaarna has spent days crafting a spice rack for Ken.
- I saw you drooling over @barbiesizelifeofvenla Venla’s spice rack on Instagram. I’m pretty proud of myself, just think of what I could make if I had two hands!
- Great work! It goes straight on the wall!

Ken is happy about his spice rack. It’s great to have the kitchen organized before Christmas. This time opening presents too soon was a perfect idea.

Kaarna goes for a test walk wearing her new felted boots. 
- Damn, it feels like the weather is turning warmer, today might be the only chance to build a snowman...

Ken asks Ritva to join them, because she wants to be a child and children love playing in the snow.

Creative differences between the snowlady builders! Ken wants to use a carrot as a nose, but Kaarna and Ritva say it’s downgrading.

Group hug! The snowlady doesn’t seem to like hugging though.

It’s almost Christmas but customers keep coming in. They need last minute alterations on their party dresses.

The stress is getting on Ken’s nerves. So much work to do and he hasn’t even begun to think about the Christmas presents or dinner...

Ken has to settle for online shopping instead of crafting the Christmas gifts with his own two hands. And what’s even worse, he needs to buy ready-to-eat Christmas meals. That is if he finds the time to go to the grocery store.

Ken writes a list and Kaarna takes care of the grocery shopping. She hates it, so she goes to the store late in the evening when it’s not crowded.

- I almost died! I had to go to four different stores to get everything on the list. 
- You really are a hero, you saved the Christmas, Ken laughs.


In the morning of Christmas Eve Ken makes rice porridge. He loves it and he would happily eat it every day, but it takes hours to prepare, so it’s a once a year thing.

The pastries with plum marmalade are equally important as the rice porridge. Ken and Kaarna prefer them to be traditionally star shaped.

- Red wine, Ken?
- No thanks. 
- Not even on Christmas?
- It tastes bad and makes me sleepy and my legs wabble. Also on Christmas! So no thanks! But could you pass me the water, please.

- Oh boy why do I do this every Christmas?! I can’t move!

- You still have time to take a nap before Ritva and Veli arrive. And after I have finished this, I need a nap too.

When Veli and Ritva arrive, they find the door open but nobody’s around. They sit on the sofa and wait.

Soon the door opens and Ken and Kaarna step in with loads of gifts.
- Thank you for not ordering a Santa here, Ritva rejoices.
- We have our childhood traumas about Santa Clause and we are not going to pass them on to you!

Everyone has bought kids’ toys for Ritva. Ken seems to be more excited about them than she is.

While Ken and Ritva go through all the toys, Veli gives Kaarna an envelope:
- Here’s something from us to you.

- Theee months of Netflix! This will get me through the rest of the kaamos time!

- Look at this doll, Ritva! So cute!
- It’s going back to the bag, Ken. This doesn’t feel right... I will never play with these. We are going to give these to the refugee children.
- Even that penguin?!

- So toys are not your thing then. We just have to figure out another way to give you a childhood. 
- You can keep the penguin, Ken.

After visiting the refugee center even Ken thinks that giving away the toys was the right thing to do.