Pretty dresses, antler hairband, flags flying, and tomte painted on the windows…it must be the last day of school before Christmas!!  Thank goodness our little lady has an addiction to wearing pretty dresses (fairly impractical for tucking into ski trousers at play times, but she’s stubborn and prefers to look like she’s stuffed a spare tyre in there!!), as it seems everyone gets out the party frocks for the last day of term.  I was unaware of this, and as you wear your own clothes every day, it’s not something that is organised by the school, just one of the things that is traditional.  We turned up to school and the flag was flying in the playground, and she had her Christmas concert to look forward to (singing in Swedish).  She’s done so well, and loved her half term there, despite still not really speaking Swedish.  It’s more a confidence thing I think, as she’s been beavering away in her Swedish work books with her written work, and her teacher is very pleased.  She’s also singing non stop in Swedish, so maybe I should just get her to sing everything she wants to say!  When I picked her up she explained that all the children and teachers in the school had run around the flag in a long snake, holding hands and singing (well apparently there was a lot of shrieking and laughing too), in what seems to be the thing that is done.

While our little lady was celebrating the end of term for the morning, the mini men and I set off to find a nature’s playground on our walk, and it didn’t take them long!!

There is a footpath running along the coast line, but this morning the boys decided that rock scrambling was the order of the morning, so off we went across the boulders, trying not to fall into the freezing fjord!  We then got to some big smooth rocks that needed rolling around on…unfortunately I slipped and smashed my cheek and head on one, and apart from being dazed and feeling like my head wasn’t attached to me I was fine.  However, it did worry me, that we head to some fairly isolated places and if something happens to me, especially without big sister around, the boys are very vulnerable.  So there then followed a panicked in depth lesson on how to make a Swedish emergency call on an iPhone!  Probably not the best time or place in the freezing outdoors…maybe I’d better follow that lesson up!  But it did make me think and worry about them, closely followed by the thought that Father Christmas wouldn’t get to them if I was knocked out and they’d be heartbroken!

This afternoon it was time for a festive activity and we decided to make peppermint creams.  I have a lovely (old) children’s cookbook from when I was little, and we decided to use that recipe.  The book has piqued our little lady’s interest though with its colourful pages, so I am sure, after not being used for about 25 years, it will be dragged off the shelf again in the not to distant future.  The little lady did all the measuring and mixing by herself today (usually I divide a batch into three, or multiply it by three so all three can mix, but first of all the batch was a bit fiddly to divide up with only one egg white used, and secondly I didn’t want to be eating peppermint creams for the whole of 2017 with so much other sweet stuff around by tripling it!).  All three were fantastic though. The little lady is really at home now in the kitchen weighing, measuring, and mixing, and I was pleased with the boys rolling and cutting shapes out…even better that none of the mix got gobbled up for a change.

So, all three are now getting very giddy in the run up to Christmas.  How we are going to play it is not that much different from past years, as, with our Norwegian connections, we are used to a similar timetable of events.  We try and mix English with Scandinavian and this year will be no different.  We will head off to the island’s church at 1100 on Christmas Eve, before returning for a feast mainly consisting of roast pork, large sausage, köttbullar (meatballs), and rice pudding .  We will then open presents from each other and my side of the family (Norwegian connection).  On Christmas Day, there will be stocking opening courtesy of Santa Claus, and then a large smörgåsbord of cold things (in the past, we’ve then had the traditional English roast Christmas meal as well, but to be honest this has put a little bit too much pressure on the digestive systems, as well as ensuring I live in the kitchen for 2 days!).  The celebrations will continue in the afternoon with the unwrapping of presents from English family and friends 🙂  It’s a really nice way of doing things and it really spreads the excitement out.