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).IMG_8801Of 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.

These are the stamps I have.

These are my stamps.

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?IMG_8735IMG_8724They 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.

Here’s my freezing family saying hurry up mom and take the picture.IMG_8729

Check out this woman’s coat…this is what I should’ve been wearing.IMG_8736And the last picture I took before the phone froze…IMG_8725I 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!

9 Comments on “Your Christmas Cards Aren’t Mailed Yet?

  1. That is glorious, Lana. Umm–no cards. Several years ago, I switched to ‘new year greetings’. Now, I like your idea of Easter. I’ve considered going electronic, too.

    What a gorgeous family! How do you have time to blog with that brood! I love that we’ve become efriends. You have such a wealth of international knowledge.

    • Jacqui you are my best efriend. I’ve never found anyone in the blogosphere with your generosity of spirit. It has inspired me. I’ve learn a lot about writing, life and blog manners from you. Thanks again and I’ll keep you “posted” on life in the New Year!

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

  2. What a beautiful, beautiful family, Lana! I enjoy reading every entry, but this one was especially charming. Merry Christmas to the Wimmers!

  3. Enormous outing :). Makes me smile, to imagine it. I’ve got to say, too, the photo of you and your family is just beautiful. Really beautiful.

  4. Is this term, “Swedefied,” your creation? I love it. I’ll trade the Sigtuna Christmas Market for Target any day! I can surmise that most locals (sans storage) decorate simply with fresh wreaths and tapers (rather than partake in our our annual “dusty attic shuffle”). The simplicity is appealing! As are those handmade knit goods…haha.
    You OWNED a furry handmuff? Ahh… that’s all I ever wanted as a youngling.

    • You and me both. My friend Charlotte had a rabbit’s fur hand muff I coveted at recess.:) As I was putting away my Christmas decorations this year (5 boxes of them) I did wonder if it wasn’t a little excessive? I mean the work involved is labor intensive. Why not just add some fresh greenery to the table and doors? I’ve got to hand it to the Swedes, they know how to keep things simple and beautiful.

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