November 29th, 2008

christmas

IT'S BEGINNING

For the past 8 or 9 years, I've participated in an AWC event on Thanksgiving evening. It's nothing to do with turkey or tryptophan or football or parades because none of that exists in its American holiday form here in Sweden. Instead, our Thanksgiving celebrations with friends and/or family has always been scheduled for the weekend after (or in the case of this year, the weekend before). Because the fourth Thursday in November is just a regular workday here, it's been a pleasure to have a holiday event scheduled on that evening instead, something that has now become a tradition and that many of us Americans look forward to every year: the wreath-making workshop.

It's held at a florist shop down in Höllviken about a half hour south east of Malmö and is run by the owner, Rosa, who is a lovely and accommodating woman, and organized by my friend Debbie. We pay 50 kronor for the "class" which includes fika (glögg* and juice, gingerbread and a coffee cake) and then we pay for any additional materials we use in the making of our wreaths. I usually make a large wreath to hang on the door and then a centerpiece for the table.

This year, I had the kids with me. Since Anders is gone, it was either that, or cancel my participation in the event: unthinkable! So I asked the kids if they wanted to go hang out at Debbie's house or if they wanted to come with me, and they were just as eager as I to get busy making wreaths! There were 9 of us, including Martin and Karin, and it was a lovely evening. Martin made a smaller wreath that we have put on the coffee table in the living room with a candle in the center (it actually got a dusting of gold spray paint after the photos were taken). Karin made a centerpiece that includes a poinsettia, cinnamon sticks and gold thread, and I made a big wreath to hang on the front door.

Today Martin went up in the attic and handed down all of the electric advent candelabras that every Swede puts in their windows at Christmas time (the rest of the holiday decorations have to wait until Anders is back since they're in extremely large and heavy boxes) and now the house is really beginning to get that holiday feeling. NOW, it feels like it's time for Christmas! I'm more than half done with my gift shopping now, and I'll be starting Christmas letter and cards tomorrow. Give it your best shot, Stressmas, I'm ready for you! :D








*mulled wine served with almonds and raisins