Monday, November 06, 2006

This week: 49 Days Left...

...To Christmas Day. Time will fly! Time will fly, for sure! I have to admit, though, that I love this time of the year. Strangely enough I have a soft spot for cloudy days. In a way I really get energized from a gray day, isn't it strange? I can remember back to when I was a little girl, out shopping with my Mom. Every time we went into one of the department stores in Vällingby (suburb outside of Stockholm) I so wished for the weather to turn cloudy while we were inside the store shopping. At that young age I already appreciated a good "fika" (coffee or tea break, VERY common in Scandinavia) with lit candles on the table. For some reason, when i look back to our shopping days in Vällingby, it is always fall. This season is so special, all the leaves are so beautiful, the weather is (hopefully) nice and cool. You are bundled up...AND you have plenty of opportunities for a very good "fika". If I were living in Sweden now I would already have had experienced the first blizzard of the year. That blizzard hit Stockholm about a week ago. Also, in Scandinavia, the days are short now, cold and dark and probably very gray and probably rainy and/or sleety OR snowy. Do I miss that??? Yes, I do! Oh, I can hear all my friends and my family screaming right now: "SHE'S NUTS!!! November is the worst month of the year!"
But again, there is something so darn cozy with the dark, the rain, the snow and the bare trees. Yes, I do realize that I might be painting a pink shimmer around it. I hear myself, but I still stand strong to my words.
ALL RIGHT!!! So, folks, only 49 days left until Christmas! Are you ready for it? I am waiting for both of our families to draw a name from a hat, the person you'll pick is the person to whom you are buying a Christmas gift. Kids are excluded, all kids in the families will get gifts from all of us. But for us adults it is only one present. However, now we might change that in my Swedish family, we might draw two names this year (this is something Staffan, Lisa and I just came up with while they were here).
Do I mind buying presents??? No, GOD NO!!! That is also a favorite of mine. Yours Truly loves a shopping mall around Christmas, LOVE!! I thrive in there, I buy good gifts and I will be nursing a Pumpkin Spice Latte in the meantime.
I love checking off the list, person by person. For my Swedish family I pretty much already know what to get each and every one of them. For my American family I am not as sure, but that'll work out.
AAAhhhh...the season is upon us! All the decked out malls, all the glitter, all the beautiful Christmas songs, all the gift wrapping, all the excitement!
I own four HUGE boxes full of Christmas decorations, jammed packed. When Thanksgiving is over I'll start decorating the house, and I enjoy it tremendously. You can only have kitch around once a year, and that time is Christmas.
Jeez, just listen to me! It is not even mid-November and I am raving about Christmas! Well, friends, I am sure you all realize that this is just the first post about Christmas that I am writing this season. When time is nearing we will discuss Christmas songs, Christmas movies, trees, decorations and so much more.
Until then we will enjoy the fall! And then we, in the US, will celebrate Thanksgiving! One of my favorite holidays! Until then...Ciao!


Melinda - The Christmas Elf said...

I like cloudy days too in the fall. They feel like a good time to get cozy and you feel like you have a good excuse to stay inside and relax.
I am embarrassed to admit that I have already played my Diana Krall Christmas CD in the car a couple of times. I felts so guilty about it. My family has no patience for my love of Christmas music -- but I don't care. It is my absolute favorite music. I can't wait until 97.1 FM starts playing Christmas music all of the time. And you are right -- we need to draw names soon. I am soooo ready to let the shopping begin. The only good thing about my crazy campaign season is that I got a big paycheck recently, and I am going to use it on gifts! Here's hoping for a bonus too!

Annika said...

To the Christmas Elf:
You and I BOTH!!! I cannot wait for 97.1 to start playing the x-mas music!!! JUST CANNOT WAIT!!! Don't they start the week before t-giving? I LOVE that Diana Krall CD!!! it is the best! I played it all the time last year.
Look, I play x-mas music 24/7 in the month of december. I am telling you: X-mas music, cold and gray outside, candle on the table a cup of tea, maybe enjoyed with a gingerbread cookie (pepparkaka)...That, is COZY!!!
I know you've been busy as hell lately with all the politics. Luckily it is over today!

Keith said...

Well, you're a little behind the times; Target, JC Penney and some other stores had their decorations up in early-October. So you raving about Christmas now is nothing! But yes, this is the time to think about the holidays. Soon I will have to make my list of who is to get what. My family usually picks names among the adult children. Not sure what we're doing this year though. Of course, the nieces and nephews always get presents. Sometimes they don't even know what they want except for Brian who puts a dog on top of his list every year and he still hasn't gotten one. As of now I have no idea when I'll put my Charlie Brown Christmas tree up. It would be nice to have a white Christmas. We haven't seen one in awhile...

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is grey here in stockholm-there is nothing, nothing to miss.
Looking forward to christmas and advent! looking forward to snow as well. It was so lovely here last week with all the snow//Swede-gal

Annika said...

I cannot possibly start putting christmas up when the stores are starting their displays. Then I would have to start in September, and you know, that would be NO fun...
Anyway, after thanksgiving it is fun to put the lights in the trees outside, decorate the deck...Tree would come in mayve first weekend in Dec. So not this year though since we are going to Swe.
A white christmas would be nice....MAYBE I will experience it this year in Stockholm.

Oh, I knew you guys would say that :-)))
I am sure it was darn nicde last week with all the snow you had!

Suzanne said...

I started a christmas blog too but then had no time to finish it! I love this time of year! I feel like I have not been able to do a christmas (by that I mean decorations, crafts, cooking) like I really want it to be so this time I am going all out! I agree this is a very romantic/cozy season! What fun this time a year is!! (I am all for the X-mas music as of now!)

Annika said...

A Christmas blog would be so fun! I am glad you will be decorating like crazy this year!

Anonymous said...

Yesterday on the plane home from Orlando I listened to a station that was all Christams music. Having just left Florida I was definitely not ready for the winter holiday season but the music was pretty and uplifting so it seemed like a good choice.
Now that I'm back from my vacation I can hardly believe that people are thinking about Christmas already.
I also have four boxes of Christmas decorations...what size are your boxes because you seem to have a lot more stuff than me....
I am soooo not ready for that yet. I enjoy the fall and Thanksgiving but I like to keep Christams in its own zone. After Thanksgiving I'll move on to Christmas.
Didn't we just clean up from Halloween???

Annika said...

I am a Christmas freak! That is why I cannot help myself.
I am ready for it all. Bring it on! When we have the T-giving parade in Reston TC the friday after turkey day I feel like that is the start of x-mas. How lovely!
But, yes, first things first: Fall, T-giving and THEN Christmas!

MaryKate said...

Annika - I'm with you! The day-after-Thanksgiving parade is the beginning of the Christmas season for me! It's one of my absolute favorite traditions!


Annika said...

Marykate: Welcome to my blog!!! Nice to have you here!
I LOVE that tradition, too...
It is so nice¨! hopefully it'll get really cold this year :-)
(I mean it)