This is a crazy time of year to start a blog, there are probably a million other things I should be doing – like buying presents for my offspring I hear them cry.  Well, for once, I finished my present buying a whole week before Christmas – that must be a first!  Either that, or I’ve forgotten something, but since I can’t remember what that is, too bad.  Is this the onset of senility or just general Christmas-induced craziness?  Hopefully the latter.

Christmas in our household is pretty confusing anyway because I’m half Swedish and that complicates matters no end.  Swedes celebrate on Christmas Eve with a huge “smörgåsbord” containing things like ham, meatballs, pickled herring, cheese, salt beef and loads of other things.  Since I was used to that, celebrating with a turkey (and on the wrong day!) seemed weird to me when I first moved to England, so we started doing both.

Two Christmases?  Not such a good idea really.  It means twice the amount of cooking, twice the amount of eating and (obviously) twice the amount of putting on weight.  Sadly, not double rations of presents though (I wish!).  For the past couple of years I’ve therefore tried to stop this over-the-top celebrating, but so far, I’m not doing too well.

“But we can’t have Christmas without Swedish meatballs?  And what about the pickled herring?  And the saffron buns?  It’s not Christmas without those!”  These are the replies I get whenever I try to raise the subject.  So we compromise – not a full smörgåsbord, but a few favourite dishes to savour on Boxing Day when everyone’s sick to death of turkey anyway.

And then there’s the porridge.  Porridge??   You’re probably thinking, is she nuts?  Nope.  Swedes have rice porridge with sugar and cinnamon as a sort of dessert at Christmas, at least my family does, and there is no way it would be Christmas without it.  Trust me.  So at some point, we’ll have that, probably when we’re sick to death of meatballs and herring as well.

So will there be time for anything other than eating?  Well, as always, I’m hoping to curl up with a good book and some chocolate – okay, that’s not necessary, but hey, it’s Christmas!.  And maybe watch one of the DVD’s that will undoubtedly be someone’s present (I know because I bought it).  A perfect Christmas?  Well, as close to it as you can get I guess although I’m determined that one year I am going to have one of those “real old-fashioned fun-filled family Christmases” (to quote Mr. Griswold in National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation”) with a house full of people, silly games and over-the-top party clothes.  Sounds like hard work actually, but might be worth it?  We’ll see.

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