Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Swedish Christmas, Part 1

We've been in full swing with traditional Christmas preparations around here this weekend, and I thought I'd share. We're a mix of Swedish and American traditions, so it's rather a hodge-podge sorta blend of his, mine, and ours. I love it. But don't worry, I'm not going to bore you (I hope) with too many details, but share a few things you might not know about since (I'm guessing) all of you aren't Swedish.

I think the most Swedish thing we do is our real Christmas tree. Unless things have changed in my home country since my 1974 emigration, no Swede has an artificial tree. (I even called The Swede to confirm this.) My Sissie and Mr. Clean head up into the mountains for trees for the whole family each year. I'm so grateful for this service, and eagerly await my delivered tree. We usually get a wonderful Charlie Brown tree of which we are very proud. This year though, they hit the jackpot because our tree is just absolutely gorgeous. I might show you a picture, but as of this minute, it's only half decorated.

The Engineer has, with a sigh of relief, yet great difficulty, delegated the placing of the lights to YellowBoy. This is no small passing of the torch. He's famous for using a ridiculous amount of lights to wrap each individual branch as he moves up the tree. Very slowly. We're talking 500+ lights on a seven foot tree and it takes FOREVER. Not kidding. Engineers don't idle well, and he's all engineer. Idle you say? How could putting up lights be idle? Yeah, you're asking the wrong person.

I've never been one for theme trees. You've seen them. Perfectly coordinated, balls, beads, garland, ribbons, etc. Not at my house. You'll find the Spiderman that Jake drew as a young child, precariously still hanging from a piece of yarn. The glitter-dosed popsicle stars with the school picture at the center. The stale marshmallow snowmen holding an “I love you, Mom!” sign. Yes, it's hard for me to have all the ornaments clustered in one place, with crooked lights, and the top half of the tree bare.  But my focus isn't on decorating, it's on my kids and the traditions they cherish. We had a great time listening to Christmas music and working together. As we get closer to celebrating our Savior's birth, I'll share more about Swedish Christmas. What are your family's favorite traditions?

7 comments:

Margo Kelly said...

Christmas traditions? Hmm. We usually have a big Monopoly marathon - where we butt up four boards together, and move around all the boards during the same game. It's awesome!

Brian Miller said...

i miss our live tree...a couple years ago ours died the week before christmas and we have been artificial since...used to go to the tree farm with dad to cut it down...

our tree is def covered in super heroes and star wars...smiles.

Brian Miller said...

i miss our live tree...a couple years ago ours died the week before christmas and we have been artificial since...growing up i used to go to the tree farm with dad to cut one down...

our tree is currently covered in superheroes and star wars...

Hart Johnson said...

Ha! I want to hear the Swede traditions, as one of my family strands goes back there (my dad's mom)--that and the Norwegian strand (mom's mom) are as concentrated as I am of anything. Didn't realize the tree fetching thing--we used to do that when i lived in Idaho as a kid--it is, I believe, a matter of tree to people ratio. In Idaho, there are plenty of trees and most people know someone who will let you find one on their land. The other places I've lived, not so much...because if everyone did it, there would be no trees left. (I like all those kid decorations, too--took awhile for my husband, Martha Stewart to give in, but he's come around)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll admit, our tree is artificial. Fiber optic lights and everything! But the ornaments are a hodge-podge. Disney couldn't make a more colorful tree!
Like to hear more about your Swedish traditions, Tina.

House Revivals said...

Loved this! And I always LOVE your trees!

H said...

We alternate between a real tree and our artificial one depending on whether we are at home or with family down in London. I don't go for co-ordinated either. Our tree has lots of lights (less than 500 though!!) and we hang all of the decorations the lads made from as long ago as Toddler Group!