Julbord count: 4
There's been a lot of music in the air this week. Maybe I am hyper-aware of it because I'm a singer. Tuesday evening one of our printing company took a bunch of us out to dinner at Wallmann's Salong, a big dinner theater place in downtown Malmö. While the singers had good voices and were clearly dinner theater veterans and very good at what they do (which didn't include their sideline as wait staff unfortunately, since they kept disappearing to perform just when it would have been nice to get drink refills or finished plates removed), it felt very much like watching a high school musical only with very old and very heavily made-up high schoolers. Lots of jazz hands and air humping and sparkly lamé costumes.
Christmas Tree: decorated
After the first few "sets" which were primarily glitter-coated Christmas medleys, there was a break from the regular cast for a Lucia tåg (procession)...5 women dressed in white with candles in their hands and in the case of the leader, on her head. They sang close harmony, tight and spiraled voices that gave me shivers. They came onstage singing Sankta Lucia...the same words and arrangement that we sing in choir, and then sang a second Lucia song which is titled Lucia but which everyone calls Så mörk är natten i midvintertid (So dark, the night, at midwinter time) to differentiate it from the first one...the same words and arrangement that we sing in choir, and THEN their 3rd song was Silent Night in Swedish with...you guessed it, the same words and arrangement that we sing in choir. It was uncanny.
Christmas Cards: mailed
Yesterday we sang those same three songs in our final concert of the year. We had a guest soloist, a Spanish tenor who has sung with us before and has a mellow and expressive voice. Between him and us, we sang Christmas songs in 8 languages. After the final applause had died away and we had bowed ourselves from the stage, we had our end-of-season holiday party. My friend Debbie who sings in the choir (albeit at the other end as a soprano) was one of the party committee members and went all out...she organized a White Elephant Gift Game that none of the Swedes had ever heard of before, and it was hilarious! She had a huge burlap sack lined with red ribbon and filled with beautifully wrapped inexpensive but really nice presents and a letter from Tomten explaining the rules. We each drew a numbered slip from a small bag and in turn got to choose a present from the bag and open it.
Book Editing: finalized (but not uploaded, dernit)
If you've never participated in a White Elephant game, it can be a bit alarming at first. Each person could either keep the present they opened or TAKE one of the presents that had been opened before their turn. We've played it many times in the past with my mom's family and it's a hoot. The game I was used to was played slightly differently: we went in number order and the presents were always funny or rude or off-color or something that was bound to cause a commotion. Even though the presents last night were mostly holiday decorations and Christmas-themed, there was still a lot of laughter and present-theft going on. Unfortunately my number was called very early, which isn't ideal since I could only choose from 3 other people's presents and since they were all tree ornaments (pretty ones, but good god, do I have a lot of shit on my tree as it is! the last thing I need are more tree ornaments. I ended up not using dozens of ornaments this year that are usually on the tree because even to me it was looking a bit ridiculous. Anders' eyes are surely so far back in his head that he can track the switchbacks in his cerebellum) I choose to keep the one I had opened: a large plain gold-painted wooden angel even though it wasn't really my style. It was stolen from me almost right away and my replacement present was — a mistletoe-scented car air freshener. Yeah, I know. I thought I was going to be stuck with it, too, but when it was our choir leader's turn, she took pity on me and stole it so I ended up with a box of Christmas cards instead. :)
Calendar: Full all the way to New Year's
Tomorrow is our work Christmas party (Julbord #5) but I don't expect to be there very late. Saturday is maniac-rushing-about to prepare for Martin's birthday party with his friends in the evening (the theme is a pajama party even though the kids aren't sleeping over) and then he is going to someone ELSE's birthday party afterwards. Sunday is the Christmas party for kids at Anders' job. Then it's only 4 more days of work and John and Simone arrive and I'm on holidays for a week...with something planned for every day but one. How did that happen?? I'm going to need a vacation after my vacation!
Jolly Jellybean Birthday Wishes to My Old Pal (heh! I said old): cap_killer!