Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Christmas 2016

It's been a busy Christmas.

December 24th is the big day in Sweden. This year we had decided to celebrate with Toni's family. So around 2pm his parents picked us up so we could go together to his sister's family. They got a puppy this summer and he was the centre of attention, a place which the youngest daughter fought for the whole evening :P She was hyperactive, impatiently waiting for the time when we would open all the gifts from under the tree. At 3pm we were all seated in the living room watching Donald Duck on the TV. Been a tradition in Sweden for over 50 years, maybe even 60, I don't remember. An hour later we just sat around talking until it was dinner time.  Swedish Christmas food is mostly an assortment of meat. There are regional additions to the table, but the Christmas Ham is always the main feature and on every table all over the country. After dinner we opened the presents. I never expect anything when I celebrate with Toni's family, much the same way as I don't think he expects anything when we're with my family, but the few times I've been there I've always recieved something. This time it was a black velour set of pants and cardigan, and together we also recieved a set of tea cups and saucers. When everything was opened and we had talked some more, we decided it was time to go home. Before we left the car to go inside Toni's mother offered to drive me to the train station the morning after, which I really appreciated and readily accepted. Getting a ride would mean one more hour of sleep.

On December 25th I got up at 7.30am and at 8.15am Toni's mum picked us up. I was getting on the train to Malmö, and Toni was going to the Christmas sale. The train took a little over 4 hours and I spent most of the time sleeping. I arrived in Malmö completely starving so I bought a little something to eat so I'd survive until dinner. Then I got on the bus. During the bus ride I caught two Pikachus wearing Santa hats :P
I arrived at my parents' at about 2.15pm and put my gifts in the pile under the tree. One after the other my grandparents, my sister and her boyfriend arrived and then, to get as close to the real day as possible, we put on a Mickey Mouse DVD that my sister had brought. Toni always jokes about how much we eat at Christmas, and this is where it starts. During the TV hour there's ginger bread and mulled wine. About 5pm we start our Christmas dinner. Which is first a Christmas platter (with a little something of each from the traditional Christmas table) as starter, then lutfisk for main course, and then rice pudding with fruit sauce as dessert. After dinner it's time to open the presents and my sister, who insists we have a Santa, dresses up and hands them out. When all the presents are opened my parents start taking out the Christmas sweets and after a few more hours everyone decides it's time to go home. I spent the early night finishing my book.

December 26th is usually spent playing board games. As usual we played Mah Jong and Svea Rike, but also a new game that my sister had bought for my parents. In the evening I was originally to meet up with my high school friends. First time we weould all be together for about 4 years, but there was a teeny tiny problem in the shape of a hurricane. All trains cancelled, and buses barely going, people being advised to stay indoors... My mother told me I couldn't go. Felt a little like being a teenager again, but tbh I wasn't really looking forward to the prospect of maybe being stranded in the city because of the storm. Instead we played more Mah Jong. In the evening we half-watched Miss Congeniality 1 and 2 on TV while reading new books. And before bedtime I watched the season finale of season 6 of X-files.

December 27th went a lot like 26th, except there was less wind. After another day full of board games we watched the documentary about Ingrid Bergman, while reading, and before bedtime I watched a horror movie from the 1960s called Black Sunday.
December 28th was going home day. I woke up at noon, showered and started packing my things. My parents drove me to the train station and I just had time to buy snacks and a salad for dinner before getting on my train. I spent the 4 hours reading. After I had unpacked I started playing Skyrim SE and played it for the rest of the evening.
Merry Christmas.

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