December 3rd, 2006



2 Things I Really Didn't Need Today:
  • Waking up with a headcold and sorethroat AGAIN, which effectively put the kibosh on singing in the 3 concerts scheduled for this afternoon.
  • Opening the boxes of Christmas decorations which Anders kindly carried down from the attic only to find they were full guessed it...mouse turds and chewed styrofoam and paper.
sigh The mice ate several decorations that were styrofoam-ball based, and one which was made of salt dough (for which I bear no grudge), and EVERY PIECE of dried, green-painted macaroni that Martin had painstakingly glued to a cardboard Christmas tree backing when he was 4 years old. It was a work of ART. They ate a piece of my baby's childhood! Bastards.

The holiday house decorations are unpacked and halfway done, while the tree ornaments remain in their boxes for at least another week. Anders put up all the advent candelabra and the gold metallic star lamps that hang in the kitchen windows. It's very festive! I think this is the earliest we have ever had the decorations up for Christmas, actually...although we usually manage to get the advent lights up by first advent since one feels like such a slacker in the advent-light-lit neighborhood if one doesn't. Everyone in Sweden has their triangular candelabra lighting up each window of their domicile: Christmas is really coming! EEK

I had the first julbord of the season on Friday for lunch at work. Tomorrow is another julbord lunch with one of our vendors and on Tuesday the Christmas table will be laid for dinner with the AWC in downtown Malmö. By the time the holidays are actually over, I'll probably have eaten the traditional Christmas buffet a dozen times. ...and will be SO SICK of it. I don't think it would be so overwhelming if it was really only this time of year that one ate the traditional Swedish Christmas buffet, but in actuality, the food that is served at the Christmas table in Sweden is basically the SAME food that is served, bar some small changes and a different dessert, at every high holiday throughout the year:

various kinds of pickled herring
cold cuts
salmon (variously gravlax, cold-smoked, warm-smoked, paté)
boiled potatoes
red and/or brown cabbage
janssons temptation (a kind of potato casserole with cream and anchovies)
small fried sausages

For Easter: add ham and hard-boiled eggs
For Midsummer: add strawberries and cream
For Christmas: add ham and rice pudding and gingersnaps

Thank goodness there are crayfish parties in August and Mårtens Gås in November to break things up. But for now, with only one julbord under my belt I'm looking forward to them and to the rest of the holiday mania. 'Tis the season to be jolly! (except about mice in the attic)
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