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HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE STRESSMAS
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!
 accomplished
mood: accomplished
music: Francine—Pop Warner
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Comments
(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Honestly, some days, I don't know. :) I suppose we'll have to see at the end of it, eh?

Psst, I cleaned out the front hall closet, too.

We went to IKEA last Saturday (there is a new store here in Amersfoort). It was scary. How much do you want those shower curtains?

It's past "want" and well into "desperately need"

Our concert band will have a Christmas concert at ICA Maxi the next Saturday 16th. First we asked IKEA. They were basically positive, but very busy and not sure they had enough space or if the music would overrun other sounds and messages broadcasted throughout the store. Then we asked two more places, and finally one ICA were happy to host us (for free even - usually we charge quite a bit of money to play, but we do this to get more visible).

That's a shame, although I can understand their concerns. IKEA on a weekend is insanely busy...wouldn't they even let you set up outside somewhere?? Or in the restaurant? Have fun at your concert!

Outside is not an option unless global warming adds at least another 15 degrees to typical winter temperatures in the middle of Sweden (and we won't want that - blubb, blubb, the ice is melting!). The restaurant might be crowded as it is. I recognize an orchestra makes much more sound than e.g. a choir. Maybe we can arrange something outside the shopping center in the spring/summertime.

Sliding Doors is a dynamite movie. Well done, quirky idea. Don't miss it. You'll see that my approach to Christmas is about 180 degrees on the other side of the tree from yours. But JF buys live trees and we plant 'em. That was his family's tradition. Only our yard is considerably smaller than his family's was. Hmmmm...Anyhow, the creche has to be up by next weekend, the Alliance Francaise is coming to look at it.

I thought your creche WAS up already!

Around Dec. 1st, JF starts thinking about how he wants to construct the creche. Today is really the first day he's actually putting it up. The photos I've posted so far are from the archives! We are a slow-moving crowd over here, girl. Very little actually gets done.

You need ME around to get things done! :D

See, you're assuming I WANT to get anything more done! This is the error of your logic. I love the holidays; I just don't want to DO much. We're joking here, and that's good and right, but really? I think a lot of the depression around Christmas is about the exalted expectations our overworked and harried mothers went through to MAKE it what we now feel we are supposed to carry on.

My mom wasn't overworked or harried. Partly because she wasn't working (full-time anyway) while we were little. She was probably harried simply from having 3 kids, though! :P

If I didn't really want to do all these things that mean "Christmas" to me, though, you can be sure I wouldn't :)

If I recall correctly, Gwyneth Paltrow referred to her brunette wig as a squid to wear. Yet that is a small sacrifice compared to e.g. shaving your head bald in front of the camera.

She was hardly brunette, though. I'M brunette.

waaa... the gift link didn't work for me.

:( I checked it again and it works here. What kind of error message did you get?

Works for me, too. Opens in a separate window, so maybe there's a popup blocker issue here.

No, the new window is my fault...I do that on purpose when I link (although I'll stop soon once IE7 becomes more prevalent).

Well, a new window opens up, but it is entirely blank. (well, except the web address)

Hrm. that IS weird. Does it work if you try typing the address in yourself, or googling for "imagini" ?

OK, now I'm getting somewhere with it. But not very far : (
What a tease, I get the initial page, but then when I proceed I'm told that my computer won't support the version of javascript necessary~~

I need to lie down after reading that...which is what I hope you're doing right now. Good LORD, Liz! :) Sliding Doors...loved it...but then I like the concept of alternate realities, in general. ;)

Me, too. I sat down and watched it this afternoon. It was EXCELLENT. I'll have to buy a copy on DVD for myself. :) I love the idea of alternate realities, too. Have you ever read Aquamarine by Carol Anshaw? If not, I can highly recommend it. The movie reminded me of it, actually.

I liked Sliding Doors and even G liked it because there was rowing. ;-) Now I think I'll have to watch it again!

haha! there's rowing in it for like, 5 minutes!

That counts! And it's on the Thames so that's like some serious rowing holy grail when found unexpectedly in what one might think was a chick flick from the picture on the box.

Hmm, must get myself a rowing icon. ;-)

LOVE that icon of Karin. Reminds me of me. Heh.

I got all tired reading your post. Tell me, do you have any time left over for yourself? If yes, HOW DO YOU DO IT?!?!?

I have one of those time-slip machines that Hermione got from her teacher.

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