Family time

We’ve enjoyed several calm and cozy days celebrating Christmas (and my brother’s birthday) with our family. There have been plenty of good traditional food and fun family times. Here is a bunch of pictures of our Christmas week.

Hubby and I celebrated with gift opening in the morning of Christmas eve.
Hubby and I celebrated with gift opening in the morning of Christmas eve.
Christmas Eve dinner table
Christmas Eve dinner table
My brother's birthday cupcakes. The decorations are of his favorite team.
My brother’s birthday cupcakes. The decorations are of his favorite team.
Amazing how few cars at the shopping mall by opening hour. When we left after 1,5 hour most people seemed to arrive.
Amazing how few cars at the shopping mall by opening hour. When we left after 1,5 hour most people seemed to arrive.
Geocaching adventure
Geocaching adventure
Hubby trying to set up our iPad's so everyone can play online. :)
Hubby trying to set up our iPad’s so everyone can play online. 🙂
More Christmas food!
More Christmas food!
The "whole" family around the tabletop pool table.
The “whole” family around the tabletop pool table.

Candy land

We are now finished with all of the Christmas candy of this year. We’ve sticked with a few favorites such as knäckischoklad, (follow the links for information of the candy in English) and almond paste balls dipped in chocolate with an almond on top. I’ve also tried two new types this year. One is the ischoklad but with white chocolate instead of milk chocolate, and the other was a recipes I found several years ago called snow balls. The main ingredients of the snow balls are oatmeal, coconut flakes and lime.

Christmas candy of 2013
Christmas candy of 2013
A little treat on a Sunday evening, our homemade candy and glögg
A little treat on a Sunday evening, our homemade candy and glögg

Grey Christmas

It seems like there will be a boring grey Christmas this year! 😢 We have not had much snow at all so far and none that has stuck to the ground. It’s just rainy and wet outside…

I’ve been prepping for Christmas for the past two days. Yesterday I decorated the apartment and we put up the Christmas tree. Today I made two types of pickled herring and two types of candy.

I’ve also received the first Christmas present of the year! 😊 Four days ago I was offered, and accepted, a new job! I’m so excited! I few weeks ago I thought the year would end terribly as far as my career goes but it turned out completely opposite! On January 13 I will start my new job!

Gnome parade in my kitchen window.
Gnome parade in my kitchen window.

New Santa’s

Tonight we went to the Christmas market in the Old town of Stockholm. I love that place! The scent of glögg (mulled wine) and roasted almonds. The many red booths selling food or candy, and the craftsmen with their pottery, woodwork, candles etc. There is in particular one place I love and that is the booth with all the cute Santas.

The Santa booth
The Santa booth
Close up of the Santas I picked this year.
Close up of the Santas I picked this year.

The only thing that would make a visit to the Christmas market even more perfect is if it had been colder, white snow on the ground and preferably even huge big white snowflakes coming down from the sky. That really sets off the Christmas spirit for me! 🙂

After browsing around the Christmas market we went to a restaurant called Slingerbulten which serves traditional Swedish food. We haven’t been there for quite some time now so it was nice to go there again and enjoy the calm interior, friendly staff, and not to mention the fantastic food!

Meatballs with mashed potato, lingonberries and cucumber
Meatballs with mashed potato, lingonberries and cucumber
Fillet of Pike-pearch with a chanterelle sauce and asparagus. It was served with mashed potato on the side.
Fillet of Pike-pearch with a chanterelle sauce and asparagus. It was served with mashed potato on the side.

No more Christmas

We’ve now removed every trace of Christmas. All decorations were taken down yesterday and today we put back the Christmas tree in its trunk. Yes, we have a fake tree… due to allergies my family have had it as long as I can remember. I’m a little curious to see if I’m still allergic though so some year I’ll bring a real one back into my home…

So a fake tree shouldn’t leave any needles, right? So why is there fake plastic needles all over my living room and hallway!? It’s getting worse every year… My tree is dying from old age!

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I love the ornament box we bought many years ago in the US. It’s got small compartments for every ornament. The box has three layers so it fits a lot of ornaments too!

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Now everything is ready to return to the attic.

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Birthday boy

Christmas Day in my family means celebrating my brother’s birthday. It’s really good that Swedes celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve! 🙂

The morning we spent at home making more candy. Around lunchtime my mother-in-law came back with our car (she borrowed it yesterday evening in order to get home easier). We drove her home and then headed to my parents. Our plan was to go to the memorial ground to light candles but due to the snow storm (lots of snow plus heavy winds) we decided to just go straight to my parents.

Once there we enjoyed coffee and cookies while my brother opened his gift.

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We also played a little couronne. Normally I would play more than once but I’ve experienced more pain in my shoulder and back the past days so I let my brother and hubby play instead.

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For dinner we were first served an appetizer containing toasted bread. My brother got a toaster as a gift from my parents which “burns” the badge of his favorite team.

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Main course was Flygande Jacob (translated Flying Jacob), a chicken dish with a whipped cream sauce served with rice. I’ll post the recipe someday not too far away.

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And for dessert we ate ice cream.

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As I said earlier it was snowing a lot early on today so we decided to bring toothbrushes etc in case we had to stay the night. It stopped snowing in the mid afternoon and we figured it wouldn’t be too bad to drive home after all. The small road out to the main road where my parents lives were quite bad but once we got to the main road the snow had been removed and it was easy to get home.

When we left my parents I noticed Santa and Mrs Claus were snowed in so I removed the snow from their faces and then got this fantastic photo.

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Christmas Eve

Our Christmas Eve celebration started this morning with rice porridge, as usual.

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The morning hours we spent preparing the items we had promised to bring to today’s dinner.

At today’s event it was lots of tasty food. So much that it was impossible to try everything. The food table looked fantastic!

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After dinner Santa arrived with some presents. Charlie was a little curious but was not at all interested to be near and definitely not sit in Santa’s lap!

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I had brought cupcakes and gingerbread cookies. My cupcakes were supposed to look like Santa hats but no matter how much food coloring I used it never turned red… and suddenly I didn’t have any more color to use at all. So, this year instead of “Santa red” we had “Santa pink” 🙂

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After all gifts were opened Charlie had a cozy time with Mathias with two of his gifts. A portable DVD player and his favorite movie (a children’s character I’ve never heard of before…)

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Our evening ended with our traditional gift exchange game. Using dices we compete of the gifts each person brings. Mathias and I together won 3 items this year!

Now it’s time to go to bed and sleep so we’re ready for tomorrow’s birthday party!