I hope that everyone has had just as nice and relaxing of a Christmas as we have. Good food and no stress whatsoever. Just happy people, lots of hugs, and an abundance of homemade presents. Merry Christmas.
Our trip to St. Croix set us slightly back with respect to our Christmas traditions/preparations, so as soon as we were back home the kids sat down to craft some things for the tree. I got the best deal ever on the tree. Just $5! Elliot and Sienna complained about the needles being too spiky, but for $5 we can handle a bit of spikiness.
I decided not to send Christmas cards out this year so instead I’d like to wish everyone a merry Christmas here. Our Christmas Eve was nice and relaxing, despite the fact that our stove broke down and we had to cook dinner on a camping stove (not quite, but almost). We had the pleasure of having my parents with us again this year and they stayed overnight. In the morning, the kids opened presents from the Canadian side of the family and in the afternoon we went for a walk on the beach as it was such a beautiful day.
December has been a fun month where we found the time to uphold many of our December family traditions. It was Shawn’s year to decorate the tree with the kids and it ended up looking very colourful. Christmas gift production was also at its highest ever, and we went through several roles of tape and paper as everything had to be meticulously wrapped. On top of the traditional cookie decorating, Sienna and I found time to try out a recipe from 1866 for “rustic crunchy vanilla donuts”. I don’t know what they are called in English, but in Danish they are called “vaniljekranse”. For Christmas Eve Sienna made some nice place cards and we had fun setting the table together. We were both really pleased with how it turned out.
We started off Christmas celebrations on the 24th with the kids opening presents from us. Sienna’s gift was tickets to the theatre to see the Nutcracker and as she had finally reached the cellphone age, she also got an Iphone. Elliot received things from his favourites – Lego and Minecraft – and last but not least, he got the Foosball table he had talking about for months. My parents and my good friend Candice came by in the night for dinner and lots of Christmas treats.
Christmas eve was spent with my Mom, Dad, and Sister at our house and we decided to do a mix of Danish and Canadian traditions so Shawn baked a turkey with stuffing and I cooked a roast pork which is very traditional Danish Christmas food. My mom made some candied potatoes and for desert she brought her own homemade ice cream and Shawn baked a pumpkin pie. On the morning of the 25th, the kids woke up to a traditional north american Christmas surprise upon seeing the tree loaded with presents from Canada. Thanks to Kenzy and Logan for the Lego truck to Elliot, and the Walkie Talkie and spy camera to Sienna. Thanks to Tessa for the Pencil case which matches his new schoolbag to Elliot, and for the Furby carrying case to Sienna. Thanks to Kyle and Owen for the Domino race track set to Elliot and the Lego tree house to Sienna. Thanks to Farmor for the Transformers Kreo building set, toy tractor, and candy to Elliot and the Barbie jewelry box, socks, and candy to Sienna. Everything was a big hit.
It was a dark and wet day when my sister (Moster) joined us for our annual Christmas cookie decoration event. This time the frosting had turned out a lot better and we each had only a few cookies to decorate so that we could better concentrate on all the little details. And as you can tell by the pictures concentration levels are extremely high. I am particularly crazy about all the little porcupines but overall everyone did a tremendous job.
Just like last year we invited Mathilde (Sienna’s frind from school who lives just down the road) and Josephine (Mathilde’s sister) in for our annual Christmas workshop. Everyone was super busy sewing, cutting, painting, and finally, wrapping all the nice stuff which was produced.
As always we save the Christmas presents from the Canadian family until Christmas morning as is customary in Canada. The kids where super excited even though the previous day had been full of opening presents. Everything was a big hit and Elliot immediately sat up to play with his R2-D2 playdough from Owen. The Mcdonalds stuff was also very well received, as was the gift certificate from Tessa for Itunes. The kids have already started purchasing new apps and it will keep them busy for quite a while. Owen knows that Sienna really enjoys crafts, so he got her a bunch of cool stuff that she could build and paint and color. She also got a baby koala from Kenzie and Logan and as you can see, it will be receiving lots of love and attention. Not pictured is the cool helicopter Elliot got from Kenzie and Logan as it was busy charging. Thanks a lot to all of you guys and we hope that you are having a very merry Christmas too.
This year I got to host my first Christmas eve. Most of the Danish family was celebrating Christmas eve with the other side of the family, so it was just us, my parents and my sister. In Denmark it is customary to open the presents on the 24th after you have had dinner and after you have danced around the Christmas tree while singing carols. Although we never had a Christmas tree while growing up (and therefore never danced around it), I remember vividly what a horrible long wait it was before we got to open the presents. When it was finally time, the room always turned into a frantic and chaotic mess where everybody quickly ripped the paper off their presents before turning around to look for the next one. By the time the presents were unwrapped it was pretty much also bedtime, which left no time to play with all the new stuff. As a consequence of these memories, I decided to do things a little bit differently for the kids this year. I took a clock and put a picture of a present at 10.00 AM, at 12.AM at 2 Pm (and so on), and then I hung it so that the kids could follow it and figure out themselves when it was time to open a present. It worked out really well and the kids where so excited and happy throughout the day, and just as importantly, they were kept entertained with their new presents. This meant no stress in preparing for the dinner, no fuss, and no chaos at any time, so everybody got to enjoy the day and the evening to the fullest. Thanks a lot to Mormor, Bedstefar Carlos and Moster for the great company.
Here are a couple of pictures from Christmas eve. We all met at Vesterbrogade around 3 o’clock and then sat down to have some Christmas treats. We had decided to let the kids open the presents before dinner, so we didn’t have to rush through, and that was a good decision. Both Elliot and Sienna got some great stuff. Sienna was particularly excited by the little African boy Andy, who came with a letter asking her to adopt him. He arrived in a nice pink pram and Sienna has been taking care of him like he was a real baby ever since. She also got a puppy with its own house and water bowl, and a bunch of other very girly things. Elliot got a shopping cart for when he goes grocery shopping and besides some groceries, it also came with a little baby boy to take care of. He is obviously not at that nurturing stage, though, as he pulled him out of the cart and threw him across the room. Besides that he got some games and some cars and some garage stuff. Merry Christmas to everyone. Later, I expect to post pictures from Christmas Morning where the kids opened the gifts from Canada.
The 24th started early with some cookie making in the kitchen. Sienna made cute little heart-shaped almond cookies and Elliot was very keen to with help with some quality controls in the process. He ensured that the cookie dough was the right consistency and temperature and later on when Moster came to join in on all the goodies- and treat-makings, he sampled all of the various kinds of sprinkles. Moster hung out for a while and she and Sienna had a lot of fun playing games. In the late afternoon we all went to Vesterbrogade to eat a delicious dinner and unwrap some presents. In Denmark it is customary to open presents in the evening, but we usually keep the presents from Canada for Christmas morning, so we do it both the Danish and the Canadian way. Amongst other things, Sienna got the Nintendo player that she had been wishing for for ages and Elliot got a little cow vehicle (not featured) so he can chase Sienna around on her mouse vehicle. Thank you very much for all the presents from Canada also. They included lots of Dora stuff, great books and lots of cars. We hope everyone out there had as nice and relaxing a holiday as we did.
I barely recovered from a week with the flu so all the Christmas stuff we had planned for this weekend (Christmas goodies with Moster and baking cookies with some friends) unfortunately had to be cancelled. So no pictures to show! Instead I got a few snapshots ready from last weekend when Sienna was decorating the Christmas tree with daddy (and with a little help from Elliot as well).
Last Sunday was 2nd Advent and it was time for more quality time with the family. Sienna recently started skating with her dad so we began by going to a very busy skating rink outside the park. After that it was time to make Christmas decorations and goodies at mormor and BC’s house. While the kids spent the night with their grandparents, Shawn and I went for a little walk in Tivoli to enjoy all the nice Christmas lights.