Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Scenes from Christmas

Just before Christmas came, we brought Ingrid over to her great-grandparent's house so that they could meet her in peace before the crowds.  I got a few pictures at this house, but I forgot my camera when we went to visit another one of her great-grandmothers.  Pictures like this make me overflow with thanks that God has let such precious people into my life.

This is the great-grandparent's Christmas tree.  It always has the signature Norwegian flags strung around.  We hadn't heard it before, but Knut asked his grandpa where the tradition of putting flags on the tree came from.  He said in WWII, when Germany was occupying Norway, it was illegal to fly the flag.  The Norwegian people were very proud of their flag, so they would put strings of them on their Christmas tree, because the Nazis never seemed to mind them being there, or rarely actually went into homes to inspect for flags.  His family in Norway always put flags on their tree as a sign of rebellion against the German occupation.  We found that interesting.

Here is Great-grandpa (known by the kids as "Oldefar") whispering his Norwegian blessing on Ingrid, as he has done for all of the children.  I don't know what he says, but it's sweet just the same.  He's about completely blind now, and it twinged my heart to hear him say "I wish so much I could see her face."  Ingrid stayed content in his arms for quite some time.

This is at Knut's parents' house for the big Christmas celebration of 50+ relatives.  Silje got to play her piano piece "The First Noel" to the crowd, after she had played it earlier in the night at church.

This is my present from Knut.  I got this sweet Kelly Moore camera bag/purse.  I'm so excited about it! It's way cooler in person than on the website.  It's perfect.

Here's our fireplace, with stockings hung with care.  We've been literally living in this living room the last few weeks.  It's so festive in here with the fireplace, and the tree.  Our wi-fi doesn't reach this room in the house, and there's no television in this room, and very, very few toys.  Every member of our family loves to be in here because it's just so peaceful and a great place to talk, be quiet, sing songs, read books, or just stare into the Christmas lights or fire.  I love this room.

Here's our tree all decorated.  The kids each got a new ornament this year, and I'm happy to report that so far, Solveig has not destroyed any.

Here's the boys devouring their new Legos this Christmas morning.  I have to say, I was really anxious about Christmas coming with all the new toys that were going to be entering our house.  Yesterday, when the kids got all their gifts from relatives, I was delighted to see them get so many lovingly homemade gifts, and such thoughtful crafts and activities for them to do.  I've had a hard time figuring out how to convey to family that cheap plastic toys just don't last in our house and are wasted in a matter of days.  I would much rather them have something small that wouldn't break than a large toy that would break.  I just don't want to seem demanding, but I do want them to know what actually gets put to use here.  I was so excited to see what they all got.  I'm so blessed with such thoughtful people in our lives.

The table was all set for Christmas brunch with our fine china, and I let the kids drink their juice from goblets, and we enjoyed egg-bake and clementines and caramel rolls.  The caramel rolls didn't turn out so good, but since they were smothered with caramel, no one complained.  We drank warm wassail from the tea cups.  Solveig especially loved drinking from the china tea cup, and thought she was at the fanciest tea party ever.

 Just before naps on Christmas Day, as we were just sitting around watching the kids play with their new things, Knut asked me if I was ever going to cut Solveig's hair.  It's been constantly messy lately, and she has this terribly mullet.  She pulls almost everything out of her hair and just looks crazy.  Silje always kept things in her hair, and loved getting it brushed and done.  He never wanted me to cut Silje's hair, but I've been bringing up to him that I think Solveig would really look better with a neat little short cut.  He agreed, but didn't seem enthusiastic about it.  So I just let it go.  Anyway, turns out he liked the idea, and wondered why I never followed through.  So before we could change our minds, I brought out the hair cutting scissors, and on Christmas Day, chopped the back of Solveig's hair.  I wet it down, so I'll try to get some nice "after" pictures later.  She loved getting her hair cut.  She was wiggly, and I've never cut hair on a little girl this young. Silje didn't get a hair cut until around kindergarten, and Knut has always cut the boys' hair with the electric clippers.
Hopefully I did okay!  I really know pretty much nothing about cutting hair, so hopefully it will look okay, although I'll probably "fix" it as needed over the next few days.  She liked it.  She kept saying, "Pretty!  Pretty!"  She absolutely did not want to take the cape off around her neck.  She liked that on a lot.  By the way, there are no "after" pictures, as I said.  This is just Knut snapping pictures as I was working on it.  I'm sure this isn't the last of her pictures on this blog, though, so you'll see the after soon enough.  ;)

Not everything got done this year.  My Christmas letter is still sitting in the office, but it did get written and printed off.  I didn't get to making a gingerbread house for us to decorate today.  I wanted to just eat the candy, but Silje convinced me to hold off and just make a gingerbread house later this week.  I'm thinking I'm going to sneak into the bag of M&Ms at least just a little.

Knut's mittens didn't get done, and he barely had anything to open Christmas morning, and I felt really bad about that.  There's more to that saga, but the good news is they're ALMOST done.  I did have a book for him to open which he's been wanting.  It's a biography of George Washington, and he was very happy to get that.  There was more to his present, but as it involved his ski training, I let him have it a few weeks ago so that he could get full use of it this winter.

Christmas cookies didn't get made, and the one batch I did do of Knut's favorite (mocha truffles) went terribly wrong, and I'm not sure they're even edible.  Knut made fudge and his other favorites (Ritz crackers sandwiched with peanut butter and dunked in almond bark) so we have some cookies in the house.

Still, this may have been my favorite Christmas ever.  I just loved being home this morning with my kids.  I love seeing them play with all the wonderful things they got with such excitement.  I loved seeing them delighted over the fancy brunch, and I've enjoyed all the snuggles and pajama living that has consumed all of us.

Jesus, thank you for coming to save us.  Thank you for my family.  Thank you for Christmas.

2 comments:

rachieannie said...

After hanging out with Rondi during Christmas time and eating Linda's Ritz Barked cookies, they are now a staple at our house! Love them so much.

Martha said...

Such wonderful pictures, from the youngest to the old, a haircut (such a cute smile) and the garland of flags from Norway with a story behind it. Good for him standing up for his country! ♥