Your Christmas Cards Aren’t Mailed Yet?
Your Christmas cards aren’t mailed yet? Mine aren’t either, at least not all of them, and I’ll be lucky if they’re postmarked before 2014. I’m not feeling too bad. A friend of mine didn’t mail hers until after Easter one year. Personally, I think Christmas and Easter go fine together. But in case you don’t get yours, here’s what we all look like (on our better days).Of course it’s not like I didn’t KNOW Christmas was coming. Before Target’s Halloween Decorations hit the 70% off mark, the shelves are lined with Archer Farms Caramel Corn, reindeer figurines, Smith and Hawken wreaths and what I like to call “mantle chintz” (you can never have too much).
But then again I’m not in America and I’m nowhere near a Target (boo-hoo), but the land of the ‘buy one get one free’, home of the holiday crazed still runs thick in my blood. I most definitely send cards. Albeit late.
Disclaimer: I blame Tiny Prints and USPS for taking so long to mail my cards to Sweden so I can mail them to you. It’s only 5,000 miles people, what’s the hold up? It’s not like I just ordered them last week…oops.
And why do stamps now cost 46 cents? Clearly I’ve missed some things living out of the country.
The Swedes are, as I’ve told you, much more low key about gearing up for the yuletide. The mall still closes by 6 o’clock. (There’s just no spirit of consumerism!!) I’d been told by friends I HAD to go check out the Christmas markets.
Ahhh, so this is where the Swedes do their shopping.
I thought I’d find the sprawling boutiques of the holiday chintz I was dreaming of…booths with ornaments, decorations, toys and goodies, like the markets in Germany, but no, it was “Swedefied!”
(Swedefied: Characterized as being uber low key, simplified, or deriving from nature.)
The market I went to was the oldest, most famous Christmas market in Sweden, Sigtuna. It was twenty-five degrees out and the place was packed like a Marshalls on Black Friday.
Even so, there was no stuff! You know, STUFF. Stuff you don’t really need but want. There were no ornaments, none. I looked. Ask my boys how many times we paced the market’s one small street up and down. There were no little reindeer figurines either. Just REAL reindeer pelts and sheepskins, fresh greenery, hand dipped tapers, handmade soaps and back scrubbers made from boar’s hair (I’ve already got one.) And did I mention handmade knit goods?They sold Glogg, warmed spiced wine. (There’s a non-alcoholic version too). Swedes serve it at Christmas time with almonds and raisins in espresso sized cups and this…I love! There were hotdogs too and reindeer crepes, candied almonds and marzipan pigs. But we’d just eaten breakfast. Somehow though, we managed room for a Belgium waffle. Although it was a sacrifice to take off my gloves to eat it, my fingers were nearly frozen. You know it’s cold when your iPhone stops working.
Check out this woman’s coat…this is what I should’ve been wearing.And the last picture I took before the phone froze…I love that hand muff, don’t you want a hand muff? I use to have one of those in fourth grade.
All in all, only one kid was crying by the time we made it back to the car, so I considered our outing a success. We also bought fudge. Of course, it was handmade. Of course, it was cooked in the kitchen of an old Swedish woman. Of course, nothing gets more Swedefied than Christmas in Sweden!