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Extreme Christmas

The votes are in and it’s Christmas Terrific!

Joy to the World!!!!!

The snow has arrived in Stockholm. The scent of cinnamon and saffron is in the air. The fairy lights are sparkling. The calendar reads December. Ting-a-ling-a-ling, it’s go time!

I love me a bit of Christmas and I only ever do Extreme Christmas. In extremes of weather and experience that is, either fireside in some cabins in the north of Sweden (-20°C) or poolside in the south of Sydney (30°C). The two experiences are literally worlds away and leave Santa either shivering his bits off or sweating to all buggery.

So just why do I love Xmas so much? Of course there is the spirit of giving, spending time with family and friends, enjoying long-held traditions and that bit about Jesus being born, but I much prefer the spending of money and the eating of sugar*:

As a Christmas Extremer, there are many, many traditions that I like to uphold on a yearly basis, not matter what hemisphere I am in. Here are but a few:

1.Family pictures with Santa at your local shopping mall:

Well I say there is nothing like scaring the shit out of your kids at Christmas time! Why not put them on an elderly male stranger’s lap and try to get them to smile.  Sweden is yet to see the joy in this tradition but  in Australia a fake winter wonderland scene is not to hard to come by if you know what you are doing. 1. You need to source your Santa. Go around to all the local malls and find the one with the nicest background setting and the Santa with the nicest fake beard. 2. Go early as to catch Santa and his elves whilst they are still fresh and haven’t had 300 screaming kids crawling all over them.

Last year I happened to be in Sydney during late November and took Bubba. Although I followed all the rules, this is what happened:

Our 2012 Santa photo. Without Santa.

Our 2012 Santa photo. Without Santa.

*Extreme Christmas option: Travel to Lappland and meet the man himself. These deals also include ‘Igoo Fantasia’. Honey! we are so going next year.

2. Listening to “Santaland Diaries” by David Sedaris.

‘Santaland Diaries’ is a wickedly dark account of when American humorist David Sedaris worked as a Christmas elf at Macy’s department store. It tells the story of ‘crumpet’ and his adventures. Equal parts hilarious to equal parts black, it is this story which was first broadcast by Ira Glass on This American Life that launched David’s whole career. You can sit at work and pretend to work, whilst listening to it here.

*Extreme Christmas option: Buy the book! Holidays on Ice is a collection of David’s beloved christmas tales including Santaland Diaries – this book will have you snorting tea through your nose. You can listen to some excerpts here:

 3. Theme dressing the kids.

IMG_2977-800x524Whilst it’s not the only time I get to do this during the year, it’s the only time of year where it is nearly tolerated by the general public. And now with two girls, it will be twice the fun. I like to team with the theme and pop on a matching frock or two. As luck would have it, Bubba has a rather large noggin, so when my mum knitted her a cute plum pudding hat for her first Christmas, it was too small so she had to make her a larger one on bigger needles. Viola, now I have two plum pud hats that I am happy to say, one perfectly fits The Flash and the larger one still fits Bubba. In the future those kids are going to need therapy but I’m happy to pay for it.

A3BogZiCQAEfbn-.jpg_large*Extreme Christmas option. Should I match the kids too? I found this heaven sent UK company that makes border print storybook dresses for women and children with a vintage  feel. Every dress arrives with a book. HELLO CHRISTMAS.

4. Buy expensive Christmas themed porcelain that you don’t really need but now you have children you can always claim it will be passed onto them:

Well who doesn’t do this? Everyone needs a bit of Xmas bling on the table. With all that baking and Martha Stewarting I’ll be doing, you’ve gotta have something nice to put it all on.

2503091*Extreme Christmas option: Travel to Copenhagen, Denmark and visit the flagship store of ‘Royal Copenhagen’. Whilst breastfeeding in the foyer, discuss with your husband your extreme need for fine bone china decorated in trumpets and then smile big when he tells you, yes Christmas has come early this year. Smile even bigger when you find out that Royal Copenhagen has a 2 year non breakage guarantee as there is the flight back to Stockholm with a double pram, a newborn and a toddler.

What Extreme Christmas things do you do?

*This is a joke, but not about eating sugar.

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. You and Bubba look so cute in the Santa chair. We have no pics with Santa yet, like ever. Good idea to scope them all out! If only I had so much time… ;). I love the bordered-dresses!!! Get them! And we have fine china just because we got married. No need to add more ;). The most extreme thing we did this year was cut down our own tree with a hacksaw. Hubs had lots of fun, ha!

    December 4, 2012
    • Oh I am so totally impressed with cutting down your own tree!!! That is awesome. And they make your house smell soooo nice. Hope you enjoy your first christmas in your new home…

      December 5, 2012
      • Thanks girl!

        December 14, 2012
  2. Love the picture. It’s weird to see you!!! Have I seen you before? I’m sure I must have.

    The dresses are so cute, better than the typical Christmassy type of clothes we have here. (Yes, my mother will pull out her shirt with a glittered reindeer on it – god forbid!)

    I don’t do ANY extreme Christmas things as I’m a bit bah-humbug-y about Christmas. I don’t like turkey; Xmas pudding; Xmas cake etc so it’s not my favourite time of year. I much prefer Easter. (Cos of the chocolate naturally!)

    December 5, 2012
    • I think I may be in love with your mum. Glittery reindeer, it’s something for me to look up to!!!! So sorry to hear you don’t like the food but I guess it’s hard with your dietry constraints… But soon enough we can bring the bunnies out…

      December 5, 2012
  3. We do extreme Christmas cookie baking–the sugar kind that you cut into reindeer and such. Later we make obnoxious batches of colored frosting and make quite ugly but delicious cookies. Well, wait. After frosting about 2 cookies, my kids wander off and I’m stuck frosting 4 1/2 dozen reindeer. But it’s good!

    December 5, 2012
    • Love it. Extreme cookie baking, I’ll be around to your house in a minute! I’ll help out after the kids loose interest, no worries!!!

      December 5, 2012
  4. janerowena #

    Extreme present-wrapping. I am a ribbon-aholic. I justify the extravagance by using plain brown parcel paper for the gifts and then tying them up with horribly expensive fabric bows with more bows upon the bows.

    December 5, 2012
    • Ohh well send them this way. They sound fabulous!!! I love that look, with brown parcel paper all tizzied up!!! Great, I love your work.

      December 5, 2012
  5. does spending a ton of money on card-making supplies to make your own christmas cards count as “extreme”? because that’s what i do. then i make pretty cards that i sometimes don’t want to send out LOL (but i do).

    December 5, 2012
    • Love it. Cards that cost more than the present. Yep, welcome to extreme.

      December 6, 2012
  6. lou74b@gmail.com #

    Great santa photo, where is sydney was it taken?

    December 12, 2012

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