December 22nd, 2015



Done! Done and dusted! I went shopping after work, for TWO hours at the biggest shopping center in Scandinavia. It was bad but it actually wasn't as bad as I was dreading, so that was good. And I found a store that sells American candy and junk food like Cheetos and Pop-Tarts that I didn't know existed. I walked around it drooling. I may have restrained myself. I may not have. I'll never tell.

I was only shopping to get the last stocking stuffers I needed to make sure everyone's stockings are thoroughly stuffed, and I succeeded so now the only thing left is to finish wrapping, stuffing and then the celebrations can begin.

One more day of work this week, month, year! Yay!

Tomorrow is Anders' mom's birthday. She's back home again, as of yesterday, though still on the waiting list for a permanent place in assisted living. She feels well enough to be home again right now anyway, and will be having in-home care 3x a day to help with shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc. We're having dinner with the whole family at her place.

Thursday is Christmas Eve, when the Swedes celebrate. It's only Anders' mom coming over for the afternoon and evening (Anders' sister is with her husband's family this year) and then the whole family again on Christmas Day for turkey dinner. And we still have to pack... EEK!

I can't believe it's nearly the end of the year. Every year goes faster. It's rather scary, and a little exhilarating, to feel that I am zooming through the second half of my life. Today is the shortest day of the year. I am SO glad the darkness will be receding, even if it takes a long time for us to actually see the difference. It's SO DARK. I think, if there were snow, it would make a difference, as it lightens everything up so much, but no: we have rain. *sigh*

I forgot to say that the kids and I went to see the new Star Wars movie last week. Anders didn't go with us. How did I end up with a man who hates sci fi and fantasy? It's a little boggling sometimes, even though he makes up for it in many, many other ways. Anyway, we liked it...though we were all dumbfounded by one big thing that I won't actually mention out of respect for those of you who haven't yet seen it...and what are you waiting for, if not?? It sort of dampened our enthusiasm, to say the least. BUT, overall, we thought it totally didn't suck, and we all loved the main character, Rey, who is a total badass, and we all loved the adorable new little robot BB-8. I had heard from several people who went to the premieres around the world that the whole audience cheered and clapped every time one of the old cast members came onscreen, but there was none of that at our showing...maybe because it was the day after the premier...maybe because our showing was at 4:20 in the afternoon...maybe because the audience was Swedish? Who knows. I clapped very quietly and both kids nudged me each time, haha!

We've been watching the Swedish television advent calendar (julkalendar) which has been fantastic this year. It's a mini-History Eaters, which is the literal translation of a TV program we watched last year (Historieätarna). It's had 2 seasons and I'm hoping for a third. In each episode, the two hosts, Erik and Lotta, live, dress and eat from a different period in Swedish history. For the julkalendar, they added kids (each episode is only 15 minutes long), who give their impressions of what it was like to live during each era. It's titled 1000 years to Christmas Eve and the first episode was set in 1015 in the Viking age. The one we watched tonight was the 80s. Hilarious!

The Swedish julkalendar has been airing on television since 1960. Every year it's different, with a couple of re-runs of particularly popular series. We've never really gotten into it, though the kids watched some of them when they were small. But we've all been watching this year and really enjoying it. I'll be sad when it's over. I won't be sad when Christmas is over, though. You know why?

Because it will be here again ANY MINUTE.

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