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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.

mood: accomplished
music: Timotej—Jag Kommer Hem Till Jul

From Megsie

I shopped all day, and I think I am done! There were two things that I didn't get, and if I am up and motivated I will go in the morning, and go specialty grocery shopping for Christmas day. We did the big shopping for that this weekend, but I need to get the ham and the fruit...etc. But other than that...YAY! No more shopping!

Tonight we will make the sugar cookies...I don't want to, but we will get it done.

Jeff began rewriting my version of the Christmas letter this morning. That will be late, but it usually is, now that I am working. I have given up caring about that.

I will have to send my sister-in-law her stuff, which will also be late, but again I am not concerned about that.

I still need to clear off the dining room table, make lasagna, and clean up my school crap off the floor.



Merry Christmas everyone!

Re: From Megsie

I had to run to the mall AGAIN today to pick up something Anders didn't have time for yesterday. I'm still at work but I'm leaving in a minute...that's it for the year...WOOT! happy happy holidays, Meg!!

i don't usually follow julkalendern but this year it's really good. i'm so in love with little cleo!

merry christmas to all of you

We love Cleo too! And Elma :)

Did they have Fritos? I would make a special trip south for Fritos!

I didn't see them or I definitely wouldn't have been able to restrain myself. They had Cheetos and a LOT of American candy (though not 3Musketeers, dammit). I wouldn't be surprised if they do get Fritos at some point. I can ask them next time I am there...which will be a while. :)

Let me know if they get them in. I'm a Fritos junkie.

The biggest shopping centre in Sweden? I think the new Mall of Scandinavia in Solna would take exception to that :) Come on, you know everything is bigger and better in Stockholm!

That said, I take my hat off to you venturing into any shopping area at this time of the year. I was out early this morning with the dog and even our pathetic little centrum was full to overflowing at 8 in the morning. I hate to think what it is like now that the booze shop has opened.

I so agree with you about the need for snow to lighten up the darkness. People keep saying to me that it might still come later in winter, but I don't want it in February when it's getting light again, we need it NOW!

I am not a science fiction lover either and until now I believed I was the only person on the planet never to have seen any Star Wars films. I see Anders is in the same club. I don't even like science fiction books and I'm someone who would normally read anything.

I've not watched julkalendar this year. I didn't care that much for their Historieäterna series, mostly because it was an unashamed copy of a 2007 British program called Supersizers and that series was done so much better. These two just stole the idea, format (and all of the jokes as well), then passed it off as their very own innovative idea. A Swedish friend refused to believe me and I sent him links to watch the British series and he was shocked.

Have a lovely Christmas Eve, Christmas Day with your family.

I don't care if they were a copy, I still liked Historieätarna and Julkalendar. I'd watch the British version too, though I think their title is stupid.

You read stuff that pushes the line into fantasy, least occasionally. You're the one who recommended The Bees to me!

Merry Christmas, Marie! I hope you and L-G and Miss Sophie have a fabulous, RELAXING holiday!

You know, I was really reluctant to read The Bees and only did so after a really good friend whose taste I trust convinced me to give it a go. I was really surprised that I loved it as much as I did as it is a far cry from what I usually read. It shows that you can teach an old dog new tricks :)

That's why I usually go ahead and read the book group books...there's often something that I would never have picked up myself that turns out to be good. Though I'm justified much of the time, too. :P

Just saw the movie yesterday, and really loved it -- but can relate to your comment about a certain spoiler dampening enthusiasm. (And yet...even that was okay, I think, in how it was handled, and what it portends for the future of the storyline.) And BB-8 really was adorable, and Finn was cool, and Rey is TOTALLY awesome. Fred didn't love it as much as I did, but he's not the Star Wars geek that I am...

Still no snow, here -- in fact, tomorrow is forecast to be in the 60F range. I've had green Christmases before, but this is ridiculous!

No snow's too depressing to contemplate. I'm so tired of rain and darkness.

Merry Christmas! I'm wishing you well from a Scottish house full of really big kids who, at 9.15, have not yet bothered to open their "stockings" (though I see they resorted to pillow-cases this year!) Wishing you all the best greetings of the season!

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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