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O TANNENBAUM!
True Love is climbing up into the freezing cold attic for your wife to hunt down an errant unmarked box of Christmas items, which contained, ta-dah! the wire hooks, of course. Sneaky little bastards.

Amount times which I could completely cover our tree in ornaments: 4

Christmas ornaments purchased so far this season anyway: 8

My plan was to get the tree decorated tonight, because I can't do it tomorrow (choir Xmas concert and dinner) and I can't do it Thursday (see below) and I wanted it done this week which leaves Friday. The thing about tree decorating is that because I have so many beautiful ornaments that I have received over the many years, and I only get to see them once a year, they must be properly adored and appreciated before being hung on the tree.

When we were young, my sister and I would always get up early on Christmas morning, since anticipation usually woke us up around 6 a.m., and, knowing better than to rouse my dad that early, we would creep downstairs (if we had a downstairs at the time) or out to the living room and lie on the sofa or the carpet and just stare and stare at the twinkling tree. There was my mother's glass Christmas tree with the bits of colored glass melted into it, and the old ornaments from Grandma's house, the glass and gold bells and guitars, the white glittering string of lighted birds with outstretched wings. The big colored bulbs wrapped around the trunk and shone behind and through each glass ball. The house was quiet. The cats sat with us, curled and warm. Stockings were waiting.

Among the beloved items on our tree are a blue and gold jointed oriental koi, a clip-on blue glass bird with a peacock feather tail, a shimmering ball covered in red and gold veined skeleton leaves, a frosted ball laced with fimo roses, a tiny straw star with a wooden angel in the center, a small beaded circle of santa heads, a sockmonkey moose, a glass-ball-bottomed snow-filled santa, a tiny wooden skiing santa, 2 white porcelain cats with red ribbons representing Pooka and Toby, 2 gold and enameled candy canes given me by my grandmother, a framed photograph of smiling 6-month-old Karin sitting on Santa's lap, a flat gold circle lasercut with fish that I received as a thank you for working a Christmas market when we lived in Germany, and many, many more. The blown glass cigar that my mom gave to Anders is NOT on my beloved ornament list, however. :P

Our tree has tiny multicolored lights on it, because I am a deviant from Swedish Christmas traditions, and refuse to have only white lights on the tree. White lights are pretty, but colored lights? Are MAGICAL. No blinking, though. We don't condone the blinking.

On Thursday, work is having a traditional Swedish julbord which means, literally, Christmas Table. There are very specific ingredients to a Swedish julbord, beginning with herring and smoked salmon, heading through meatballs, boiled potatoes, liver paté, smoked eel, Christmas ham, and ending with rice pudding with strawberry sauce, and gingerbread. My problem is that, later the same evening, I'm signed up to go to the annual AWC julbord in Malmö as well, at Sankt Markus Vinkällare, which has one of the best and most delicious feasty julbords around. I can't make the mistake of eating julbord before eating julbord AGAIN.
 calm
mood: calm
music: Goombay Dance Band—Christmas At Sea


Comments

Mmm, I love the swedish julbord ... the herrings and smoked salmon are just HEAVEN.

Saturday night, we're facing the same problem. Two of the best holiday spreads of the Christmas season are on the SAME NIGHT. The solstice party at Butch and Jo Ann's always has amazing food. Everyone who comes to that party is an epicure and a gourmet. They put pine nuts in things. Use cranberries in creative and unusual ways. Every dish is a delight.

Then there's Jana's annual Christmas do for her friends on the faculty. More prosaic fare in some ways, more traditional, but every dish a perfection of its genre. A turkey. A honey-baked ham. Scalloped potatoes. Swedish meatballs. Green salad. Trifle. Brownies.

This year, these culinary delights are both on Saturday night. What to do? Well, we have to make both of them because we really like both sets of people. How will our gastric systems survive? Watch this space.

LOL! It will be interesting to see if we can manage this! Small portions, as in bite-size, is my tip.

(Anonymous)

Oh I so love the reminder of those magical mornings. Alas, this Christmas those beautiful "with meaning" ornaments are still in the basement in their boxes....because NO TREE!!! How did this happen??? Since no one is coming- except Great Grandma for Christmas Eve- and since I am traveling out of state 2 days after Christmas...so sad....NO TREE!!! But I have hung German lazer-cut snowflakes on the Norfolk Pine, and birds made from dried mushrooms on your (once yours!) Ficus- and there are several very small decorated trees in the rooms, so it's not like there's NO TREES......
AND YET......I'll bet that beautiful blown glass cigar is on Ander's list of memorable ornaments!!! HAHAHA! Love, Lizardmom

I wondered if you were going to bother with a tree, actually. :) I can't believe my ficus is still alive! I've killed at least 3 of them here!

I can't make the mistake of eating julbord before eating julbord AGAIN.

But you will, because history repeats itself.

no nonononononononono!

What lovely Christmas memories. I had a ball with my giant Christmas tree back in Australia. I was much like you - an oversized tree, chock full of twinkling lights, glass ornaments, tinsel and special knick-knacks that we accumulated over the years.

It took the kids and I all day to set up and decorate, as we'd remember who made what little ornament, where we bought others as well as finding spots for our new purchases. I loved tree decorating days! Though I feel sure that L-G, who is very Scandinavian and minimalist about decorations would have died if he saw my tree :)

Good luck at the julbord. I love them, but can't imagine two in one day.

I bought a string of tiny colored lights this year. The first time. Lennart couldn't put up a resistence this time. I figured he owes me a few colored lights. ;)

Anyway, I'm not fond of the blinking either...but these have a setting called "slo glo" that I quite like. They fade on and off sloooooowly. Mmmm, nice.

Slo-glo sounds pretty cool, actually. And I'd say Lennart owes you a lot more than a few colored lights! :P

I thought the description of your favourite family ornaments was lovely and I danced right along with those sugarplums to read such fancy nostalgia.

Of course my own memory threw in family favourite Christmas ornaments as well. I still have a select few of my favourites - the only ornaments we had were those I brought with me.

And I'm with you on the colored lights. Unfortunately, the only two options in the biggest store in town were colored lights on white wiring (which stands out too much) or colored lights in a net made for outdoor-bush-covering-use - which, it turns out, also has wires that stand out too much. So our gangly little tree has more wires than branches showing, and a grand total of 7 ornaments (plus 20 plastic balls, ug, they did not even HAVE glass ones and again I say this was the biggest Xmas store in town!) but we love it hehee.

Enjoy your tree as well as your julbord.

Want me to send you some of my extra ornaments? :) Try and see if there is a plantskola near you with a Christmas exhibition, that's where we found our colored lights (and the wires are green and thin).

Thanks for sharing your favorite ornaments, and favorite Chirstmas traditions with us :o)

We have many family favorite ornaments and one of the reasons my mother has moved the tree decorating day up in her schedule of Christmas doings, is because she has so much else going on the closer and closer it gets to the 25th (she's also in two choirs, well one church choir then her chorale), and she hated not being able to take the time and really appreciate and remember each ornament. She still has them all. It will be very tough for the six of us kids to figure out who will inherit what ornaments. My brother will get his Apollo 11 ornament, I guess my sister Cath will get Buzz Impaju (a little elf who sat on a log, to which my sister had adhered the only remaining letters from a packet of stickers that came in a ceral box to create a name for him). My sister Kris broke her very favorite ornament years ago while, classically, holding it up for all to see and proclaiming, "this is my very favorite ornament" - crash! I don't know if we "little girls" have any that would be ours but we all have our favorites.

I've been slowly building up my own collection but I think Christmas tree ornaments are some of the nicest things to pass along from one generation to the next.

My mom gave us kids an ornament in our stocking every year, so we had a really nice start to our collections when we moved away from home. She's continuing it for our children now. And she has the uncanny ability to pick out the PERFECT ornament for someone.

(Anonymous)

Thanks for the memories brought back to life!!! I have been so hectic this season I have almost forgotten the days of awe and wonderment! I really needed the grounding and sure do wish I could do it with you at 6 AM again this Christmas! Love your Leetle Beeg Seester!!!

Me, too!!!! I MISS YOU!

(Anonymous)

Colored lights, no blinking. Agree completely.

-Amylou

(Anonymous)

Your hubby is a very good hubby and I trust he will get many wonderful prezzies under the tree holding the ornaments that are hanging due to the extra hooks . . . ~bluepoppy

oh yes, he will. :)

I have a bigger ornament collection than I technically need also. The tricky part of decorating the tree is to put the special ornaments on branches that the cat can't reach. ;-)


I agree with you about the necessity of colored lights. I hope you're enjoying the holiday season so far! :)

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