All photos by Anders Ek
We got candles lit all over the house and then I had Martin fetch a deck of cards and the kids and I played Crazy Eights. Then we ate brie and crackers by candlelight. When we tired of that, the kids put the forehead flashlight on the remote-control motorcycle that my sister gave my husband for Christmas and they flapped around the house chasing it, yelling and laughing their heads off.
After the girls went home, Anders and the kids sat around his laptop like it was a fireplace and looked through his photo files and played all the ringtone music he had stored and watched a couple of motorcycle videos...while I read by the flickering flames.
We talked about what life must have been like for people a couple of hundred years ago when they had no electricity: no computer, no television, no lights. When candles were expensive and handmade and life was lived by the rising and setting of the sun. The kids can't imagine it, how could they? A few hours of darkness is no competition for the reality they live in.
The advent candles are completely burned down now. I blew the furthest one down out and watched the smoke curl and the blackened wick glow and breathe with the breath I loosed too near it. The metal advent stars glittered with reflected light in the windows. We put the kids to bed with candles in their room and then I gave up and went to bed to read by candlelight, only to have the lights come back on with a whoosh as soon as I laid down and a screech from the dishwasher which had been in mid-cycle when the power went out.