Christmas has always been a special thing to me; it is not an official holiday where I grew up and we can celebrate it stress-free. Unlike the traditional holidays, there is no need to prepare for a feast or wish and praying for good fortune or en be forced into conversations with unfamiliar relatives… the children simply shared some candies and wish each other merry christmas (although we had no idea what was Christmas was about, it felt more like a gift giving day or celebration day for Santa Clause). Most of the time we were not even allowed to go home since I was staying at a boarding school, but it was better to spend christmas with other children anyway in my opinion, as the 8-year-old me discovered a wrapped present (a pencil sharpener and a card says wish me to study harder) many weeks before christmas at home. The disappointment was so enormous that I was convinced that Santa Clause does not visit non-english speaking countries and he is irrelevant for us. Although I did have lots of imaginations about how christmas is like on the side of the planet, after watching movies like Home Alone, Harry Potter etc. But everything about christmas seems so wrong before I moved to Sweden.
The first christmas here in Sweden, oh dear… I probably did everything that one is not supposed to do on christmas. We were invited to christmas parties and met funny Swedes and of course it involves lots of alcohol and the rest of the holiday season I was way too hangover to realise that I was left alone in a far away land at christmas, which is quite depressing but yet has something graceful to it.
Recent years I finally made my peace with christmas. It has been real difficult if you have any idea how I dread winter in Sweden. Just imagine the lack of sun light, bitter cold and slippery icy road in greyish landscape. But Christmas has became an escape , and I can just stay at home, put on some cozy music, light up lots of candles and make Christmas treats from all of the world, like german Stollen bread with fruits and marzipan, Japanese spongecake with strawberry and whipped cream, frothy and creamy eggnog from America and Swedish mulled wine and saffron bread with raisins. Discovering the scent of Christmas is such a pleasant thing and it truly is a frenzy of wonderful smell and flavours.
I must admit that I still don’t know how to celebrate christmas properly, I’m a terrible presents wrapper and always send out presents too late and never does the decoration right. But I am certainly having fun and enjoying the comfort and coziness with loads of scent and flavours. It feels sad that christmas is over so soon. After new year and my birthday, it seems like the endless winter is ahead of us and I never learnt how to cope with it. Oh well, life is a daily thing and it will go on at its own pace. Soon enough it will be spring and the sun will shine again. Can’t wait!