Two days ago was my mother-in-law's birthday; she turned 88. She had a knee replacement operation a few weeks ago but is home and recovering well, despite still having a lot of pain. Yesterday we had Swedish Christmas Eve at Anders' sister's home. She and Anders had divided up the traditional julbord food and they each outdid themselves providing a fantastic meal. Anders even made meatballs with moose meat! We watched the Disney special Kalle Anka (Donald Duck Christmas Disney Special from the 60s) that half the population sits and watches for an hour every Christmas Eve. Even after this long in Sweden, I still roll my eyes at this particular tradition. I could understand it when our kids were all small, but the youngest one there now is Karin and she's 17 and a half!
After I got the kids out of bed (Anders was already up), we opened our stocking gifts, then everyone showered and dressed, and we opened the rest of the presents under the tree. Martin's big gift this year was a new lens for the camera he got for graduation. Karin received a Polaroid camera which made her SO happy and a printed-out copy of the ticket to the Emmaboda music festival next summer that we actually purchased back in October. Anders got me a beautiful necklace from Pandora as well as a couple of the things on my wishlist that I really wanted, and he got special Norlan whiskey glasses and a set of drawing plans to build his own kayak, which he's been wanting for some time. Of course, that probably means that nothing else will get done around the house for the next six months, haha!
He spent the rest of the day cooking and we sat down to a lovely American Christmas dinner of turkey with all the trimmings. His mom was originally going to come for dinner but after yesterday's festivities, she decided to take it easy today, which is too bad for her because she missed out on this:
I made a spice cake and then glazed it with powdered sugar frosting and garnished it with dried cranberries, frozen lingonberries and silver dragées. It looked beautiful and it tastes fantastic! However, since we have eaten so much this weekend, no one really wants a ton of cake and I might have to freeze some of it. Still, a keeper idea for dessert!
We talked to John, Simone and the boys yesterday on Facetime since it was Jakob's birthday (3!) and I'm planning on calling my sister after I get done posting this. I talked to my mom a couple of days ago and I know she is taking my grandma to my cousin's home today so not sure I'll be able to get her until tomorrow.
It's so nice to have Martin home again! He and I finished watching Westworld and plan to rewatch Sense8 this week. He had a great time on his trip and now has to buckle down and get going on college applications and jobhunting again. :) No rest for the weary!
I am really looking forward to this week off (even though I do actually have to do a little work one day). I have a few plans: dinner with friends, getting Barky taken care of, and going to see the National Theater production of Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch, at the movies with my two best friends and a pile of teenagers who won't appreciate it. :D And then nothing until New Year's Eve with our friends Barbara & Paul. And the week after that is a short one, so a nice soft end of this year and a nice soft start to the next one. And the light has started returning, too! Hurrah for that!