So. Here in Scandinavia we celebrate christmas eve, the 24. It starts when waking up, the children find their stockings filled with candy and little presents that Santa has brought in the night while they were asleep. Nothing like starting the day with eating candy! Only this one morning a year. I remember it fondly.
Then christmas eve is actually a very long long day, of waiting. To open the presents. Which happens after tv cartoons, possibly a visit to the church, cookie eating, then dinner in the evening. After dessert, and dishwashing. After dancing around the christmas tree singing carols and other christmas songs,
Then. Presents are opened. At last. One by one. Everybody eager to see what the other ones receive. Eager to see if what they give, is a success, brings a smile, a hug, a heartfelt thank you… the joy of giving. Is the greatest meaing of gift exchange. Which is natural for the children. They just need to be guided, so they can pay attention to more than their own excitement over receiving their own presents.
It´s a happy frenzy, it´s an adrenalin kick, it´s laughter and outbursts and wonderful fun.
My little 3-yearold son lasted until 11 pm last night before he asked to go to bed! Normally he wants to go to bed 8 pm. My 5-yearold daughter and me, we went upstairs at midnight and immediately fell asleep on her double mattress bed. Leaving my 11-yearold and her grownup sister playing with their new finger nail equipment at the kitchen table. Sweet! 🙂
This morning, my son woke us up at 7 am. me and the three kids downstairs, making a sitting space on the sofa between hills of presents and colourful wrapping paper… Cups of tea…
The beginning of the first day of christmas. Which, when I lived in Wales, was when we would open presents and start our christmas family celebrations. But in Scandinavia, it is a day of rest. Probably the most quiet and restful day of the entire year. Only matched by 1. of January.
It´s a day spent looking closer at all the nice items unwrapped the night before. A day for turkey leftovers, and naps and finding batteries for the new toys that of course came without batteries included…
We are so lucky that we have really sweet neightbours all around our little house. So. This morning my husband actually thought the bakery would be open! (Which to me is a very strange thing to believe). Hence, all of a sudden we were standing there with no bread for breakfast. Then entered our neighbour, in her morning gown, coffee cup in hand! She asked: “Do you have any milk? Need milk for my coffee…!”
And we had a whole litre to spare. So that was great. Then my husband asked if she had any spare bread, maybe, to lend us? “Yeah, sure…! Come on over, I know I have some in my freezer….”
That´s proper christmas anecdote material, isn´t it? 🙂
My husband played a lot of piano today, the two young-ones were over at their neighbour-friend’ s place, and at some point, my eldest daughter and I decided to go out to my ListeningHut in the garden, with colouring books and her new crayons she got from her great grandma for christmas.
We shared a couple of hours there, listening to music, talking quietly.
Then the two little-ones joined us. My hut is only 2 by 2 metres big. So I gave them my seat, and stood up myself, dancing to the music. Gave them my journal to draw in, and my… hmmm… glockenspiel in German… Well. Here´s a photo, I´m sure you know it when you see it.
And one of Lava:
It was truely a couple of golden hours for all four of us.
Now Linus-Ferdinand has gone to sleep. 7 pm! Catching up on that late night he had last night.
Lava is making pancakes in the kitchen. For all the guests tomorrow. Where all five kids will be here, plus two inlaw-“kids” and a grand-child age 2. Will be wonderful to be all of us together again.
I have a moviedate on the sofa with my husband at 11 tonight as well. So.
I am lucky.
Christmas isn´t just easy, emotionally. It is our first christmas at home without my mother-inlaw. Who passed away so shockingly 30.of September 2014.
Spells of sadness and tears several times yesterday. Lit a candle for her…
Though that´s small stuff compared to the sorrows many face at christmas. Living alone. Or spending time with their toxic families…
Ideally. I wish everyone could have a first day of christmas like we had today. If not possible on this exact date, then at some other date in the year. Just some day where everything rests. A day in peaceful harmony. Space for dad to play the piano for hours. Space for mom to go sleep for a while. Space for mom and kids to go into the gardenhut and hang out until they feel it´s time to do something else.
Freedom. Harmony. Calm, inner quiet. Joy.
It charges my batteries. Soothes my Spirit. And then some.