My Christmas

Aina Stenberg 001

I don’t generally write blog posts but I thought I’d share my Christmas with you.

Traditionally Swedes put up their Christmas trees on December 22nd and then remove them on January 6th. Sam and I typically put our tree up on December 15th and remove it according to custom. We make a lot of our own ornaments. We have origami ornaments, ornaments made from melted beads, craftsy ornaments that Isadora makes in school, and ornaments that Sam carves from wood. Isadora and I paint the hand-carved decorations. Sam has a real knack for crafts. I have no such knack, I am the type of person to glue my hands together when making a simple collage. Other decorations include festive house plants, wreaths, lighted stars for the windows, advent candles, halmbocker (straw goats), tomte (santas), and trolls.

This year we celebrated on the 24th. Sam made milk free, gluten free blueberry pancakes for breakfast. After our meal we opened our gifts. Isadora received a drum, some jewelry, a Wii game and a Mulan costume. Sam received a clamp, a poem, and I believe he will buy a wood planer as well. I received some jewelry, a poncho sweater, an owl plushie, boxing gloves and a hand target (Sam and I will share), and a beautiful outfit.

Later in the day we had a brief talk with my mom on Skype. She lives in the country and her internet connection isn’t very stable so our conversations are very disjointed.

For dinner we had a Japanese hotpot which consisted of rice noodles, broth, veggies, mushrooms, shrimp, fried tofu, beef, and chicken. Sam cooked at the table on a hot plate except the beef and chicken which he prepared earlier in the day to ensure tenderness and flavor. For dessert we had a gluten free, milk free apple pie, oatmilk vanilla sauce, and cherry sauce. Isadora complimented the meal so much Sam thought I’d bribed her. I hadn’t bribed her it was just that delicious.

After dinner we watched The Polar Express. Last year we watched The Nightmare Before Christmas. Every year we watch a Christmas movie together.

On the 25th we celebrate with the in-laws. It is traditional to begin the day with rice porridge. An almond is placed in one of the rice porridge bowls and whoever finds the almond gets to make a wish. I have a milk allergy so I will skip that.

We do secret Santa for the adults (Sam and I, Sam’s parents, Sam’s sister, Sam’s other sister and her fiance). Everyone buys gifts for the children. There are only 2 children, one of which is mine, so it’s really no trouble. Every year one of the adults dresses up as Santa to pass out the gifts and every year Isadora gets hysterically excited (she’s been able to recognize the person since she was two but that’s not the point).

For snacks there are ginger bread cookies, homemade syrup cookies, homemade chocolate slices (also a cookie), homemade Swedish toffee, another homemade chewy chocolatey candy, and ice chocolates.

Dinner consists of: Swedish ham, baked salmon, potatis au gratin with anchovies, meatballs, prins korv, sil (horrible fish in jars), crisp bread, sliced cold-smoked salmon, glögg (spiced wine), and a salad.

After dinner and presents we watch Christmas cartoons. We are also working on a Gingerbread house =)