Christmas Eve found this family still in Almhult, Sweden…alone with no family or friends over, but very merry still. This was K’s fourth Christmas and M’s second. Since K has been around, family has become more of a focus for us. One of the joys, and challenges, of living abroad is being away from family. Before we had kids, this did not bother us too much at all. (Sorry folks.) But since K has been with us, we have only had one Christmas were we did not spend it with family, either us flying to the States, or them coming to us. But for this Christmas, we made the decision to keep it very low key and immediate family oriented, and it was wonderful.
In the Swedish tradition, my wife and I cooked up a very nice Christmas Eve dinner, which then made keeping us and the boys fed the next day much more stress free as there were plenty of yummy leftovers for all to enjoy. The presents were simple, some pajamas on Christmas Eve and then just one Santa gift per child, a few presents between family members, and Santa filled stockings to kick it all off. Luckily, K is still (though barely) in the stage where he can open just one gift at a time and play with it and not have the need to tear into each and every gift under the tree. He does need to be involved in unwrapping everybody’s gifts, but his excitement is contagious and wonderful. M enjoyed the wrapping paper and buzzed around the couch and floor with a little toy train for most of the morning, completely happy in his newly turned 1yr old world.
The day featured nap times for everybody, a family walk through the melting forest (the day began as a mostly white Christmas but quickly faded to green as the slight heat wave worked on the remaining snow), the classic Frosty the Snowman by Rankin/Bass, and some leftover no-bake oatmeal cookies that K and I made for Santa the day before.
Of special note, this is the first Christmas in the eight years of marriage where we have not traveled somewhere for the holiday. As a family nomadic, this was pretty impressive…though we are now looking at taking a quick trip to Copenhagen in the next few days so that can sorta maintain our nomadic title. But honestly, it has been incredibly nice to stay at home, with just the four of us, to enjoy a stress free holiday.
And I hope that all of you also had an amazing Christmas where ever you happened to find yourself. Merry Christmas and in Swedish: God Jul.