A slew of vaguely Christmas themed exhibitions fill many smaller galleries even as early as November – and even if it is just to get a few gift ideas – many are worth a shot.

Finland – and Scandinavia in general – brings to mind images of countless lakes, forests and snow, but of course, and perhaps even more so, impeccable architecture and design. Oh, and The Moomins…

Finnish glassware, ceramics and furniture seem to emphasize the classic Scandinavian design ethos of functionality with a timeless, simple aesthetic. This exhibition focuses on mainly 150 items of glass works of Finland from the late 18th century to the present day. The works by internationally well known designers such as Alvar Aalto, Kaj Franck, Tapio Wirkkala, Timo Sarpaneva, Oiva Toikka will be on show.

Alvar Aalto in particular has played a big role in Finland’s architecture and design story. He designed the Aalto Vase for the Iittala company, a Finnish design company specialising in house ware objects; if you’re not familiar with the name, you may for sure be familiar with its gorgeous and simple designs, such as its blue glassware.

The exhibition also has Finland-related events, to prepare for the Christmas season: a ‘Finnish Christmas’ talk event by Mrs. Anna Gustafsson, spouse of the Finnish Ambassador, and a family workshop where participants will make himmeli, a traditional Christmas decoration. You must register for those events on the museum’s website.

Glass Design from Finland: The Land of Forests and Lakes

When: Nov. 21- Jan. 20

Where: Suntory Museum of Art, Tokyo Midtown (see map)

How much: ¥1300 adults/ ¥1000 students

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