I effing LOVE Christmas but that wasn’t always the case. When I was younger and my parents were still married, Christmas was a hard time. The family gathered at my Granny’s place for dinner and gifts on Christmas eve and for lunch on Christmas day. On at least one of those days someone started a fight and yelled at someone else. THAT, I hated. After my parents divorced and some time passed, it got better.
By now, it is my favourite holiday because of all the great food, advent calendars, spending time with family and cookies. Oh, and presents of course! By now, I don’t even hate ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham! anymore. ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ sung by Dean Martin, ‘White Christmas’ by Bing Crosby and ‘Winter Wonderland’ sung by Frank Sinatra make a huge smile appear on my face whenever they are on the radio. Seriously, I couldn’t grin wider if I tried.
I love the cold weather – when the sun shines but the air of minus degrees attacks your face, makes your nose and cheeks all red and gives you the gift of snow. I cannot get enough of it! We had all that last week. It was deliciously cold, it snowed, the sun shone and I was giddy for no apparent reason. Yes, I can be pleased that easily but please keep this to yourself. I wouldn’t want the word to get around.
Last year, my hopes were pretty high for Christmas, I wanted it to be the best celebration we ever had because I knew it would be my Mom’s last Christmas (no, she wasn’t even that sick back then, but some part of me was prepared for her death, even then). But it wasn’t as great as I hoped it would be. There is still the beginning of a post I was going to write about it in draft form on here. I don’t even know what went wrong, it just didn’t live up to my expectations. I foresee something similar happening to me this year but I don’t care. I am so looking forward to it despite the fact that Mom’s not with us anymore. I still have family though and I love them. I may not always agree with them and their views, but I truly love them. And I am thankful for my life, my friends and family – for the opportunities I had so far, the trips I was able to make and the places I got to see.
Last week, on the 13th (which is also my cousins birthday) was Lucia which is a Christmas tradition In Sweden. There are special Lucia-songs that are sung on this day, lussekatter to eat and many celebrations to take place. While I was In Sweden 2 years ago, I was part of the university choir and we did the Luciatåg that day. I actually only partook in the first concert in the morning since I had a final the next day or class later. I’m not entirely sure. It was a fantastic experience though. In the evening I met with my friend family and we went to see the big celebration in church, where High School kids perform like 3 concerts back to back. I was blown away by their talents. The atmosphere was fantastic and I miss not getting to see it year after year. I miss putting on my Lucia gown and singing the beautiful songs that are as dear to my heart as the Christmas songs I grew up with.
On Saturday I bought my last presents. I’m not very good at gift giving but I tried my best, which is how I ended up with 3 different books and 2 gift cards. But hey, I thought about every one of those gifts long and hard even if it doesn’t sound exciting. I like to give gifts that I would enjoy and I hope I chose right. What about you? Do you already have all your presents?
As much as I love Christmas, I also cannot wait for 2012 to be finally over and 2013 to begin. Hopefully it will be better than this year but it won’t be too hard.
Wherever you are and if you’re celebrating Christmas or not, I hope you have a good time and great company. Here are some videos of my favourite songs from Sweden. Seriously, they give me chills! There used to be a video of SVT on Youtube with these songs sung in ‘my’ church in Växjö but it’s not on there anymore.