Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Five

1. Christmas wrapping paper is irritating me this year. It seems to be tearing with very little provocation and it's making me crazy! I have a gift almost perfectly wrapped, when bam! Huge tear right in the middle. What the...? Grrr. Thank heavens I'm done wrapping now (finally) except for the presents I still need to get my hubby.

2. As I was wrapping all the gifts, I realized my kids are getting a lot of books this year. Strange how that happened. He he.

3. I was remembering this week back to when I was a teenager, (which wasn't THAT long ago... ahem) and what I usually asked to get for Christmas. I almost always asked for books and music. Not clothes, or make-up, or whatever else I probably needed. I loved getting books and CDs to listen to while I read those books. Or wrote my own books.

4. That thought spurred another memory. When I was eight or nine, my paternal Grandmother (who we called Far-Mor, because she was from Sweden and that's what you called her there), used to invite each of me and my sisters down individually to spend weekends with her and Far-Far (my paternal grandfather). When it was my turn, we'd go to dinner, and watch movies. Then I'd get to sleep in the "pink room" that she decorated just for all of us grand-daughters. We'd get up in the morning and make breakfast, and then she'd always take me to the mall to pick out some little gifts for her to get me. Without fail, I'd go to the book store. She usually ended up buying my two or three books because I could never make up my mind. Then she'd take me to lunch at the cafe at Nordstrom's, and we'd talk about all the books I loved. She died when I was fourteen, because of cancer. I know she's in a better place and with us still, but I can't help but wish sometimes that she was here on earth with us.

5. Which made me think of this last thought. At this time of year, I miss Far-Mor the most. After she and Far-Far moved to UT, it became our tradition to have a Swedish Christmas Eve every year. She would cook and bake and prepare for days and days. They lived in Pleasant Grove, up on the hill, so on Christmas Eve, we'd all pile in the Suburban (necessary with five kids), and head down to Pleasant Grove. We'd walk into her house, and the smells were just divine. Mashed potatoes, Swedish Meatballs, fresh Pepparkakor (these amazing Swedish cookies she'd make), little smokies, more cookies and desserts and food and mmmmm.... And there in the middle of it all would be Far-Mor, her Swedish Christmas music playing on an old tape player in the warm kitchen. Her cheeks were always a little rosy from the heat of the stove, and because as she cooked, she'd dance around the little kitchen, singing along in Swedish. She was tall like me, and strawberry blonde--your typical Swede. We'd devour our Swedish Smorgasbord, and then go to the tree (decorated in swedish flags and fake candles--for safety), and open all our presents from Tomten (the Swedish Santa Claus). She and Far-Far always spoiled us silly, giving us tons of presents. Then on top of all the store bought gifts, she always knitted us these beautiful sweaters every year (and it usually took her all year to make all five sweaters). I loved her intensely, as did my whole family, and after she died, she left a huge void in all of our hearts. Wow, I'm going to make myself cry. Anyway, my family keeps this tradition alive every year. My mom now has the Swedish Smorgasbord at her house, and makes almost all of the same food that Far-Mor did, even the Pepparkakor. Now that we're older, we all pitch in as well. It's something we all look forward to every year, and even after we've gotten married and have to try and juggle all the in-law's schedules too, the Swedish Christmas Eve is non-negotiable for all of us. I know that even after my parents leave us (which better not be for a LONG, LONG time), my sisters and I will carry on this tradition.

So, tell me, what are you Christmas (or Holiday) traditions that you prize the most?

9 comments:

Elle Strauss said...

What a beautiful memory and family tradition!

Shari said...

I love that I learned something new about you. And I love your Swedish Christmas tradition.

We cut down our own tree and visit family over the holidays.

Elana Johnson said...

What a great post about traditions and your family. I like having scones on Christmas morning. We need to do that this year; last year, we got off track.

And you have your presents wrapped already?? Lucky.

Jennie Bailey said...

Your memories made ME cry! I was very close to my grandma (mom's mom) and her death left a huge void in my life as well. I used to stay with my grandparents on the weekend when I would visit San Diego. She spoiled me rotten. And was my biggest fan. Our regular traditions seem to have died with her. Everyone is all spread out now and most of us have to spend the holiday with our in-laws. We're trying to make new traditions but it's hard.

I was feeling so good about my Christmas - all my shopping done! Then you come along all wrapped! I'm so impressed. I had that problem with wrapping paper this year because I think I bought too thin. I got double sided paper this year so we'll see if it holds up. Fingers crossed!

Colene Murphy said...

What a nice memory of traditions. I love it. :( Made me all teary!

I think wrapping paper is getting even more cheaply made. BTW. Must be. No way it could be that easily tearable otherwise.

Maegan Langer said...

Aww, your Far-Mor sounds awesome. I feel like I kinda know her now :) Books were always my favorite thing to get too. Who cares about clothes shopping?? Get me into a good bookstore and I'm happy for hours. I'm even entertained while wandering up and down the single book aisle at Smith's in Lehi, where I recently got myself an early Xmas present - 'Matched' ;)

DL Hammons said...

I enjoyed reading your Christmas memories. It brought a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart. :)

Jen Daiker said...

Oh my gosh I'm glad I'm not the only one!! The wrapping has become my worst nightmare this year! I finally gave up, shoved them in a box, shipped them and then told my mother-in-law she could wrap them (she's a beautiful gift-wrapper and loves to do it!)

Next time I'll start with her.

sueallen2546 said...

Found UR blog from the threegnomes and I love whatcha have 2 say. I have a question. whats the hardest thing about writing books?