My Christmas Wish

IMG_4294Today is the darkest day of the year, December 21st. The sun went down hours ago, around 2:40, but then…I don’t remember it ever coming up. The sky is a cast iron grey and outside it’s minus 4, but in the distance, from my window, I can see lights glowing all along the waterfront. The ice and snow are glittering, penetrating the night. It’s what the Swedes promised would happen in the wintertime…that everything would turn magical.

I met a Swedish woman who lives 15 hours north, in the Lapland of Sweden where it’s even colder and darker, temperatures as low as minus 30. She told me the Swedes who live there are proud of their formidable frozen tundra, (200 km north of the Arctic Circle) and to celebrate, they use the ice to sculpt everything from playgrounds to hotels. The famous Ice Hotel is newly sculpted each winter, with designers creating original themes each year. Check out these seriously cool rooms! Love the Tron inspired room. (Those are reindeer skins you sleep on.)

  Art - the heart of it all

All the suites are different. Here are our favorites: Legacy of the River Suite
Ice Bar 2
The main hall, complete with ice columns

Guests who visit, arrive by plane to Kiruna then hop aboard a bobsled pulled by dogs who whisk them away to their accommodations.

Airport transfer by dog sled across a white expanse. Photo by Paulina Holmgren.

Kiruna, also home to Esrange Rocket base, in a few years time will begin offering private citizens access to space travel. Can you even imagine?

The north sounds amazing, but we’re quite content to finish our unpacking and set up for Christmas here, (on earth) in Stocksund. I finally bought the tree two days ago and the needles are dropping like flies. We’ll be lucky if we have anything left on the branches by Christmas, but at least the house smells like pine. Here’s Micah carrying in the tree.

IMG_4281

The decorated tree, looking a little skiwampus. Why does it never turn out quite as I planned?IMG_4284

I’ve made two trips to Hornbach (a hardware store) this week to buy lights (half price if you waited this long) and other things I never knew I needed…like trays to put our wet boots in by the front door and absorbent rubber mats to help keep the slushy muck at bay. It’s amazing how much dirt you drag in on your feet, including gravel, which they pour everywhere on roads and sidewalks to make them safe.

 This Christmas I’m just grateful for a home, grateful for the Christmas season (that comes whether your ready for it or not), grateful for family and friends who have shared memories with us. I wish you all a blessed and safe holiday, with prayers for those who are dealing with tragedy.

There are no words for the tragic events in Connecticut. Swedes, who previously talked endlessly to me about the American election/politics, have said nothing to us about the shootings. It’s all too much to speak of, I’m afraid. Sadly, honestly…I feel safer living in Sweden where guns are not allowed. I’m not sure what the solutions should be in America, but I do know the laws need to change, have to change. I wasn’t meaning to end on such a sad note, but maybe the sadness we all feel at this time can be the start of action…action born of hope for the lives we can yet protect and a future where our children can be safe. That’s my wish for this Christmas.

2 Comments on “My Christmas Wish

  1. Merry Christmas my wonderful amazing friend and big sister Lana. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers always. I am so happy you guys got a house and a tree just in time for Christmas. It has been so fun for me to read your blog and see all the fun and sometimes not so fun things you guys are up to. Thank you for taking the time to update your blog it helps me to fell closer to you even though we are so far from each other. I also know that my mother in law reads it and maybe even my brother in law who served his mission in Sweden. Love you so much!!
    Jen

    • Thanks little sis for reading and posting comments! It’s important to me to stay connected, plus I like the idea of maybe helping someone else learn about Sweden. It’s an amazing place. I never could have imagined living here, but since I am, documenting the journey is my way of sharing. Hope you have a blessed Christmas and New Year!

      Sent from my iPhone

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