Holidays are here again. Jonathan and I just spent four days in Malmö, Sweden celebrating an expat Thanksgiving with friends. We hopped the DFDS overnight ferry home yesterday and enjoyed a buffet dinner full of Scandinavian holiday classics (ribbe, meatballs, potatoes, gravy, etc.). Pulling into Oslo this morning, we found Christmas in full swing. The Karl Johans gate julemarked is up and running; white lights are tangled in the trees; the large Christmas tree is up in the square in front of the university; and as we climbed the stairs to our apartment, we noticed that a tree full of lights had appeared in our building's backyard, too.
Thankfully, I'd managed to be enough on the ball before we left last week to pull together our advent calendar. Since we married, I've made an advent calendar for Jonathan every year. Past models have included Christmas jokes , Christmas memories, quotes from Christmas movies. There are usually presents, too, of course, but I flatter myself that Jonathan looks forward to my wordplay more than he does to the goofy gifts I wrangle together.
This year, daily slips of paper suspended from a red velvet ribbon will be opened to reveal my own written version of The Nativity Story. The opening lines:
Where previously there was none, a flower blooms, a fruit suspends itself from the branch of a tree, and this is what we see: round, starburst thing. Velvet petals and smooth, rosy skin. Shape and matter, weight when we lift it between our own curious palms. Where did it come from?
Happy December, everyone!