December 9th, 2006



It's late and I'm wiped out, but I'm not done yet with the things I wanted to do today. The kids and I went through all of their bookshelves and cleaned out a knee-high (on them) pile of outgrown books to take to the AWC Media Sale (and thus donate to the international school afterwards). We stripped all the beds and re-made them with clean, sweet-smelling sheets. Karin insisted on having a "grownup" comforter, even though her bed hasn't been pulled out to the full twin size yet. They helped clean up the entire kid's department, although it was a surface clean...things are picked up but I haven't dusted and vacuumed yet.

I ran 2 loads of laundry while Karin was off at a birthday party and when she got home and Anders was back from hockey practice we went on a Christmas tree hunt. I took the camera but we discovered halfway there that there was no card in it, alas! This was one of the first days with some sunshine in over a month of solid grey and rain. In consequence, the tree farm where we usually find our trees was sodden and squelchy with mud and sudden boot-sucking hollows. We didn't have much time as we arrived at the nursery about 45 minutes before they closed so we grabbed a saw and set off immediately up the wet clay and gravel road between the fields of tall, kungagranar, Nordmann firs.

It was quiet in the woods, no birds, no human noise except the kids talking and our squelchy footsteps. We walked back and forth, criss-crossing the lots. All the trees seemed so BIG! Why do we insist on finding the "perfect" tree? It can't be too charliebrown-y, too tall, too skinny, too yellow, too hole-y. It needs to be a rich dark green with fat needles, spaced evenly around and about, a little on the bushier side but not too much. No more than about a foot taller than Anders and straight. Last year, the tree that called to me with a whisper of perfection was a liar. It turned out to be all those things we were trying to avoid after we got it home and looked at it again. This year, we did it: we found the perfect tree. And then we found a perfect mini-me tree for the playroom. Score!

Now both trees are in their stands with water, but when we went to start the lights we discovered that my stained glass star tree topper has a point broken off so Anders is attempting to fix it with the glue gun. It broke last year and his dad soldered it but it didn't hold. This sure has been a bummer of a year for the destruction of some of my favorite, irreplaceable decorations. :(

I'm hanging silver and pearl bead garlands in place of the beautiful thick gold rope/redbead/goldbead garlands the mice destroyed, but they don't look nearly as Christmassy. I've written a long wishlist of ideas of Christmas presents for me to give to Anders to use. I've written and addressed about half of the Christmas cards, and done our annual holiday letter, but can't print them until I buy toner. I have not watched the movie (Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow...anyone seen it?) I borrowed from work that I was planning on sitting down with tonight. Argh! *deep breath*

Tomorrow morning we're singing at one of the big Swedish Christmas markets and I won't have any cash on me because I used it to pay for Chinese food for dinner tonight (it was delicious). After that I will prove that I am certifiable by daring to swing by IKEA in the middle of a Sunday 3 weekends before Christmas solely to pick up shower curtain liners and then try to find a place to buy printer toner on the way home.

And then I will knock some more things off my monster to-do list! Thwack! Thwack!

Need Some Gift Ideas for Yourself or Someone Else? Check this out!: Imagini Gift Finder (it's UK-based but the ideas are still excellent)

Frosting-Filled Balloon-Bubble Candle-Bright Birthday Wishes to: lady_chai and kachunknorge!
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