I almost don't want to mention how calm and beautifully bright it all was for fear of jinxing myself for the rest of January. But, it really was.
A couple of near-disasters that turned out ok in the end:
- The Tree - we totally overestimated the size of the living room, the strength of two adults (one of which was encumbered with a very cold two-year-old), and the size of the sledge, and we underestimated the effort required to chop down our own 60 kg, 6.5 ft evergreen in the forest and drag it back to our house. What started as a romantic idea of getting our own tree in the snow nearly turned into a scene from the National Lampoon Christmas Vacation. At one point, Aksel and I were both ready to give up and let the "grown-ups" sort it out. After much crying and mopping up of snow and reluctantly admitting that we were the grown-ups, we did manage to get a really beautiful (big) Christmas tree this year that everyone enjoyed dancing around in true Danish style.
- The Snow - my parents' flight on the 23rd December was cancelled. We panicked. I cried. I thought of all the food that no-one was going to eat. And then I managed to book them on a much later flight from a different airport. So they got here after all. And everyone sighed in relief (not least my sister and brother-in-law who thought they might have two extra unexpected guests for Christmas!)
And things I learnt:
- Samuel's optimal number of adults in the house at any one time is about 5. This pretty much satisfies his need for attention and activity. Throw in a few older children as a bonus and he is very happy. Little social satellite he is.
- Anna can devour books, especially if she is allowed to sit around in her pyjamas all day. Next year: buy her more books.
- Samuel can sleep in his cot in the day - who knew!?
- My cleaning mojo is dramatically increased by the amount of guest activity over the Christmas period. In fact, inviting people round generally is a very good incentive for the Little and Often method.
- Ditto having a large Christmas tree in the living room resulting in pine needles in places where pine needles should never go.
- I can make meringues.
- I can almost make sushi.
- I can make a very good chocolate fondant thingy.
- And mince pies!
- And I can run - Aksel and I have been encouraging each other to go for a run. And it is working. Despite freezing temperatures, snow, and darkness and the requirement for wearing a luminous (very fetching) yellow vest and numerous diode lights.