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:
*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.
Whilst 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.
*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.
*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.