So another week has flown by and yesterday was 3rd of Advent, which means there are only 2 more Sundays left before Christmas. We went out and did a little bit of Xmas shopping in the afternoon. This year we have left it a bit late. Like very late. Actually, we only just started the shopping yesterday. The shops were not that busy, I find where we live now, it really never gets as crazy as it used to be when we lived on the other side of town at Christmas time. We only had to queue once which was when we were waiting to have our photo with Santa. The kids are getting older so I am grateful that they still agree to do it, but it has become a tradition for us and I enjoy looking at them and see how much they change each year.
When we got back we decided to make a batch of Gingerbreads. I had prepared the dough the day before, so it didn’t take long to set up. We ran out of time to ice them, so we’ll do that today hopefully.
So last night was the 1st Of Advent, meaning it’s only four Sundays til Christmas. Each Sunday we light one more candle to count down and have some mulled wine & gingerbreads. To me it’s the start of the Christmas season. I have also hung a star in the window like most Swedish people do. I buy the mulled wine from IKEA, but you can make it by yourself too, something I have not tried yet. A craze started in Sweden a few years ago by serving Blue Vein Cheese on Gingerbreads, and although it doesn’t sound like it would go, it is divine! It’s not the same having Christmas in summer time, but this year has been a very cold start to the summer season, so it almost works. Happy 1st of Advent!
What’s not to love about Christmas I say? For me it’s not just one day, it’s the whole month of December to enjoy. I always have the decorations up by the 1st of December. In order for me to do that, I usually start mid November, slowly going through my Christmas boxes, sorting out what to use and what not to use this year. Some years I prefer everything to be white and gold, other years lots of red. Having grown up in Sweden I still love many of the Swedish traditions and try to teach our children to enjoy and cherish these too.
Last night I baked a Gingerbread Cake, using my Great Grandmother’s recipe. She passed away a few years ago and I just love baking her recipes. It really makes me feel so happy inside as the memories of her pop into my head and fills my heart with love.
Some of the things I cherish at Christmas time are:
- Hanging paper stars in the windows
- A Real Christmas Tree – the smell is divine
- 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th of Advent
- Paper Advent Calenders
- Watching the daily Advent Calendar on Swedish Tv online
- Cloves pushed into the skin of oranges which fills the house with a Christmas smell
- White Fairy Light (no coloured lights here)
- The Baking – Gingerbreads, Toffees, Biscuits, Saffron Breads, Wholemeal Tea Cakes, Rocky Road and Daim just to name a few
- Mulled Wine – topped with sultanas and almonds
- The Cooking – so much goes in here
- Edam Cheese
- St Lucia & Saffron Breads (13th December)
- Candles everywhere – even if its stinking hot
- Christmas Music