In order to have something Christmassy on my blog, I posted some pics from a couple years ago that showed our lastest/last(?) Christmas tree. (Everybody looked two years younger too.) Some visiters to my blog even thought that I was posting this year's Christmas tree. Well, if you are in a hurry and don't have time to read the captions, it is easy to assume that. But now, I can finally tell you what actually happened this year (er, I mean for Christmas 2009).
I decided that I really did want to have a Christmas tree this year. The children are still children, and they grow up so quickly. But how was I to do it? It was already the morning of Christmas Eve.
Traditionally, there is a lot of folklore associated with Christmas Eve. And Sweden is no exception: This is the one time of year that animals can speak and that the dead are allowed to have their own church services. There is an atmosphere of anticipation in the air; but even calm. What needs to be done is already done.
Or no! Suddenly, it was discovered that we needed more milk! All the grocery stores are closed on Christmas Day and only open for a few hours on Christmas Eve! We need at least four liters! Is there anything else? "There isn't any baked beans at home!" was T's thought on the matter. I thought of all the things that I could not afford to buy when the children and I were out last-minute-shopping the day before. And the Christmas presents for the children that did not get bought because they were with me.
It was decided by T that it was my turn to go out and get these items and that he would even give me some money to do it. I did not protest. This was my chance to perhaps do something more for the children. Here was a rare opportunity to be out, without having the children with me. I would be an idiot not to do this.
But it was not easy leaving the house. It never is. I received a barage of hugs and kisses from five year old Elisabet, as if I were to be away several weeks. (I made a mental note to cherish this. There will come time in the future when I will wish for these moments again; when Elisabet, the little girl, has become a teen or a young woman who has another kind of attitude toward her mother.) I had to go before the store closes and it was already almost eleven o'clock. I closed the front door behind me. There was no going back. But as soon as I step out on the porch, I regretted not taking my camera with me. You never know. I might see something.
With a huge broom, I brushed easily away the powdery snow from the cement steps. Yes. I will regret not taking the camera along. Resigned to my mistake, I proceeded to the bicycle-room behind the garage. I don't think I should ride a bike. But four liters of milk is heavy to carry. I'll take the folding stroller. We call it the umbrella. But as everything we own that is for babies or young children, it is either bought used or worn out. The plastic footrest broke and to prevent Elisabet from dangling and draging her feet along the surface of the ground, I replaced it with a very broad (three inches?) suitcase strap with a quick-snap lock. But since it was rather long, I hade to weave it several times around the legs of the little portable pram. It doesn't look very stylish, but it works. So I'm off to buy milk!
It was snowing and about 5 degrees Celsius. Perfect temperature for fluffy snow! It was clean, pure and white. It fell softly and made everything quiet. The white snow brighten the otherwise gloomy time of year. All outside objects were covered in white and made "magical". The naked branches of the trees became a canopy of white lace over the promenade that makes Norrkoping a kind of Paris in miniature. I was not alone. Maybe I looked like a scare crow with my unkept clothing and my childless broken baby buggy. There was an air of light-headed happiness and quiet friendliness among passers-by on my way. As if everyone there who met my eyes, smiled.