When it comes to any sort of event or holiday throughout the year, I am definitely a follower of tradition and how “everything should be like it always has been”. I think probably more so because I am an expat and it maybe makes me feel a bit more connected to home? It is after all mainly the Scandinavian traditions I swear by, and I couldn’t really care less for things like Guy Fawkes or Halloween.
Never is this traditionalism more visible than when it comes to Christmas! And this is something that Pete has just learnt to accept. I don’t think he is actually that bothered, he is just happy with the variety of food and homebaked goods that are available during December, and relishing in the fact that he doesnt have to do much because I wont trust him to do it right. Possibly my bad. (He does have to lift the boxes though)
So this weekend I decorated for Christmas, something I always try to do for the 1st of Advent. Now I say I am a big lover of christmas, but when it comes to decorations, I personally dont think I go all out crazy. I never have any glitter or tinsel, and I hardly buy any new Christmas decorations if I don’t need them, or really, really like them.
Instead, I have a few couple of pieces that I bring out every year to their proper place, and then all is as should be! So what are those things then?
Well, first of all – no December is complete without one of these in the window. I think they are becoming more popular in the UK now, but if you go to Sweden or Norway this time of year, I can guarantee you that you will not see a house without at least one of these in the window to brighten up the dark. A lot of places also have big stars hanging in the window too, unfortunately I don’t 😦
Next up, my Santa family. These are made by a potter in Gothenburg, and he brings out a new addition to the family every year. Ever since I can remember I have received one of these for Christmas, first from my grandmother, and then later from either my parents, or my brother. All of my siblings and I now have a large santa family like this that I carefully unpack every year. You can actually see the difference in the older ones and the newer ones, the older are definitely a bit tattier, but I think it’s part of the charm.
Speaking of collections, since about 1998 (with a couple of years missing) my mum who likes painting porcelain has painted a little bell for each of us with “Happy Christmas” and the year on the back. I wish I had somewhere I could hang these to display them properly, but for now, they get placed in the bookshelf. In 2011 my bell didn’t survive the plane journey home and being stuffed in a suitcase and my mum may or may not have got a panicked phone call asking her to make me a replacement. Since then anything breakable travels in the hand luggage!
My mum has also gifted me with some handpainted mugs, plates and bowls that get taken out in December. This is something that I have come to appreciate more and more as I got older!
These two Swedish Santas have also kept me company since about 1987 or thereabouts – they are a bit fugly, but I like them!
Lucky you also got a sneaky look at a baby photo of the husband. He will love me for that! Good thing he doesn’t read the blog!
Finally, you know it’s Christmas when the Christmas mugs are out! Especially the one with the beer-drinking santa, which has caused a couple of big arguments between me and my sister throughout the years as to whom it actually belonged to. I won in the end, because I was right! My sister got grumpy and decided if she couldn’t have the one she wanted, she didnt want the one that was actually hers (the one with santas wife making rice pudding in the background) so I got to keep that too! #winning!
Oh, and let’s not talk about how I collect Moomin mugs, including the limited edition Christmas ones, and that one time my sister accidentally managed to smash my favourite one into pieces. (she was very apologetic! and I really can’t be mad at her because it was an accident.) Yeah, the one that you can only get hold of these days if you are willing to pay around £95 for it on ebay as it turns out. I may have cried myself to sleep that night, clutching the remnants of Moomin shards. Pete thinks I am crazy by the way! And I probably am, but if you happen to have the Moomin christmas edition mug from 2009 laying about in your house and you don’t really like it that much, you could make me very, VERY happy! Just sayin.
Might seem silly to some, but these are definitely things that are important to me – I guess they help me remember some of the feelings I had when I was younger and these things were brought out. (also, I seem to really like collections, but that is another story) And I genuinely sometimes worry that there will be a fire in the flat and I wont be able to rescue my box of Christmas stuff! I know, I am a bit sad…
Now, the last thing I am missing is a proper Christmas tree that I can decorate to my hearts content every year, but there is a limit to how much space I have in the flat, so for now, we are tree-less. One day though, one day!!
So what about you? Do you have any special items that comes out but once a year, or do you think I am a bit weird and you won’t be back to read my blog?
Did I really write over 1000 words on Christmas decorations? OH YES I DID!