Merry Christmas 2017

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2017, it’s hard to believe you’re almost gone. Only a few days left to celebrate the holiday spirit, and to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about that. Celebration isn’t a word I would use to describe the past few weeks. We didn’t get the tree up and decorated until a week before Christmas. And that little heart wreath we usually put on the door? It’s still in a box somewhere. The Elf must have felt sympathy for us, because it didn’t show up this year, either. Our kids are convinced he couldn’t find our new home because we moved.

Yeah. That’s what happened.

It’s not that we hate Christmas. We are just so so tired. Read more

God Fortsättning

Swedes say ‘God Jul’ for Christmas.

For New Year’s, they say ‘Gott Nytt År’.

For the days in between, they say ‘God fortsättning,’ which literally translated means ‘good continuation,’ and as you’ve probably figured out by now there isn’t really an equivalent in English. I love this phrase, though. It’s a way to say, ‘I hope you continue to enjoy these moments, the holiday season, and the time with your family.’

We’ve had a wonderful Christmas. Nice and mostly calm (I’m focusing on the positive here), with only a few germs hanging around making us sniffle and our heads all stuffy. The elf packed up. Santa came, dropped off some presents, ate some milk and cookies and even left a note. We watched Frosty and read some Christmas stories. The kids played, and played, and fought just a little, only to turn around and play some more. Somewhere in all this craziness we celebrated my son’s birthday, complete with ice cream oreos and giant red lightsabers.

We’re almost ready for the new year. We’re still thinking about this year, though, in addition to the one right around the corner. The decorations are still up, the kids LOVE the snow that arrived two days ago and I’m enjoying this time in between. I hope your holidays have been nice and whether you’re jumping ahead to the new year, or don’t want to let this one go, I want to wish you a god fortsättning. I’ll see you next year =).

The Elf Wants to Retire

20151214_093129Our elf’s name is Wackack and he’s been with our family for about five years now. As I’ve mentioned before, the elf is a special tradition our family enjoys every year. He means a lot to us. Christmas is still magical for the children and that elf is one of the main reasons, not to mention it was given to us by a very special person. I honestly thought he’d be with us forever.

But this is the year our oldest daughter starts hearing from her friends about the sham. On the playground they’ll roll their eyes and share all the secrets they’ve uncovered about Christmas. The Santa mask they found in the back of their dad’s sock drawer. The presents they discovered already wrapped under the bed. I’m not sure what we’ll say when she comes asking questions (other than, ‘Why are you digging around in your father’s sock drawer?‘). I haven’t thought this far in advance and I should have. Read more

The Importance of Traditions

copyright Cas Blomberg
copyright Cas Blomberg

If ten years ago you had told me I’d be living in Sweden in 2014, waiting for the snow to arrive on a chilly December day, I’d have called you crazy. I would have also been wrong.

As I stare at our tree, I get the feeling the year sort of zoomed past without me knowing about it, and maybe it’s the lack of snow, but I don’t feel the Christmas spirit yet.

It can’t be for lack of trying on the country’s part. Our local shopping center is lit up with stars, glittering tinsel and a giant Christmas tree guards the movie theater. Christmas fika invites keep popping up on Facebook. Most of the Christmas markets have opened. Yet the best word that can sum up my Christmas feelings is ‘meh’. I don’t want to walk around humming the Little Drummer Boy. I even made my own Christmas coffee, hoping it would drag me begrudgingly into the proper frame of mind. Did it work? Nope (coffee was fantastic, though!). Read more