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?