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