Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Things I learnt over Christmas

Today was the first day since December 16th that I have been alone in the house. We've had a really great Christmas and New Year - in stark contrast to several previous years that have been full of illness and loss and terrible news. Aksel and I had almost become accustomed to plans being dramatically and disastrously cancelled around December and January due to emergency hospital visits and other such fun stuff. But even as I kept half expecting for the fever to hit or the -itus to develop, it just didn't.

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.


  1. Oh no, another runner! Get back to tree cutting and stop all that fitness nonsense.
    Your christmas sounds amazing. And the pic of Anna is also amazing. Not a battery operated toy in sight. Fab.

  2. It was a special Christmas, you always manage
    to express some of my thoughts.Thank you,only
    thing is we want to come again!M

  3. Yay! Another runner! I have been and bought some new super spangly trainers today which I'm sure will make me a much better runner! Only problem's far too icy and dangerous to go out. Oh well. Better stay in with another glass of wine. There's always next week. T x

  4. Hoorah!!! Gosh it sounds so cleaning mojo is directly related to the proximity of guests. Hmmm..

    PS I nearly cried at your near Christmas tree disaster! That's the sort of thing that really throws the grumps at me. x