Monday, November 26

Day 331: Christmas Cheer Slowly Spreading

It's hard to believe that November is nearly over. Seems the year just began a short time ago. Where does the time go? Sometimes an hour drags by for what seems like days and other times you blink your eyes and the minutes, hours, days vanish mysteriously in a cloudy mist. But again, here we are nearing the year's end. Do I feel a year older? Wiser? I guess I could say yes and no to both questions but ultimately it's been a good year. Happy has followed me, or rather I have followed it, around the curves of the months as winter melted into spring, spring blurred into a sort of summer and summer slid fast into fall, leaving me hankering for more warm days and dips into the shockingly cold waters of the Baltic and North seas.

Now, heading toward the end of November, thoughts of warm days and swimming are but distance memories and the familiar excitement of Christmas time is starting to brew. Everywhere I look I see Christmas cheer slowly spreading across the city. Squares and small neighborhood centers are setting up their Christmas trees and lights and all manner of holiday decorations are being splashed down the streets across store front windows. Pretty soon glowing paper stars will fill the windows of apartments and stores alike. It is definitely a merry time of year in Sweden. Just today there was even a hint of true winter in the air. Do I look forward to minus degree temperatures? If it means that there will be snow and lots of it, then definitely yes, I look forward to it. Otherwise I would be perfectly fine with temperatures hovering around and above freezing, with an emphasis on above.

In just a few short days it will be the first of December. Have you finished your Christmas and holiday shopping? I am quite close to being done, just a handful more things to get and then it's time to wrap. Wrapping gifts is one of my favorite things to do. I always have at least one eye peeled in search of creative ways to package gifts. Today at lunch time I picked up some fun wrapping paper and decorative tape as well as a couple of scoops of fragrant cardamom pods to replace the dry, nearly unscented ones in our dining table candle bowls.

What are the things you do to gear up for the holidays and get in the Christmas spirit?

A majestic tree towering above as students hurry to and from classes at one of the cities universities. 

Even Mother Nature is getting ready for the holidays with lots of vibrant green moss everywhere. 

 These lovely bowls were a gift from my husbands' sisters several years ago. They look lovely filled with cardamom pods and tea-lights, I think.

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