Monday, December 21, 2020

Merry Christmas

I love my old Christmas decorations, mostly made of wood and wool. Then there is the wonderful scent of a live Christmas tree. Too late I thought to check if one can buy it in a bottle. Of course one can. 

Scented candles and aromas from the kitchen. Music, Christmas music, old songs from Sweden, folk songs that I always thought were hymns sung in churches, so lovely. And our songs here, Chestnuts Roasting reminds me of Christmas season in New York City. Silent Night, sung in most languages around the world.

Even in this year, this most difficult year -- Christmas traditions, songs, decorations, and its spiritual meaning have lifted my spirits. 

The Santa my grandfather made well over 100 years ago gets a place of honor on the fireplace mantel. Behind is the Save the Date request from my god-daughter, Mia, who is an artist and drew their pictures and designed the card. And, as of yesterday, is married to her Kevin. Love you both.

The little straw goats symbolize the goats that arrive with Santa in Sweden. Strangely, or perhaps not, in the land of the reindeer Santa travels with goats. The card behind, which you can barely see, is from Gabrielle and her family. Gabby's mom was one of my best friends, gone from us way too soon. I've known Gabby since she was born and I'm glad she remembers me in her busy life, a realtor with three young boys and a handsome husband to look after.

I haven't really decorated my little tree very well. I may add some things, or I may not. Remembering Charlie Brown's tree, oh well...

One day, a few years back, I found these little houses in a local thrift store. My village has a feed store, a fire house and, as every village should, it has a church. I added some of my Swedish tomtar, who don't really like to be called gnomes, but there you are. The little animals that so wisely gathered outside the feed store, I purchased from the gift shop I managed, years ago, at the Donkey Rescue. The runner was embroidered by my grandmother.

The Christmas table cloth was also made by my grandmother, my dad's mom. Joyce gave me the amaryllis four years ago. It's done with blooming. 

Among my gifts behind the amaryllis is a gift bag from Walmart Pickup. I love it, a Walmart Pickup swag bag! I haven't looked inside, there are probably lots of promotions and ads in there, but it made me smile. 

Then Christina emailed yesterday to let me know there would be a Christmas concert at Konserthuset in Stockholm at 9:00 a.m. PT. It was fun to listen to. 

Afterwards, I felt inspired to bring out my own Swedish Christmas albums. This one includes a beautiful hymn, Bereden Vag, which translates to Prepare the Way.

While I was looking through my CDs, I found another one of Swedish Christmas songs in lovely renditions by, among others, two of Sweden's international opera stars, baritone Ingvar Wixell, and tenor Rolf Bjorling, son of our perhaps most famous opera singer, Jussi Bjorling. They are no longer with us, but their music, of course, lives on.

Grandpa's Santa, still going strong at around 110 years old.

Merry Christmas


A Wonderful Holiday Season

I may take off until 2021

If so,

Happy New Year!


  1. Hello Inger, your Christmas decorations are lovely. I like that some have a special memories of your family, like the Santa and table runner from your grandparents. I hope these days leading up to Christmas are happy ones. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I wish you all the best in 2021, Happy and Healthy New Year.

  2. What a wonderful display. Thank you for the post. Happy solstice and Merry Christmas. And a good new year.

  3. Such a nice post Inger. Your lovely decorations are full of meanings and special memories. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year also.
    Stay safe and well and enjoy listening to the Christmas music that means so much to you.
    Hugs, Julia

  4. i thought your santa was adorable but knowing its story and age makes it even better. i am so happy to see you have all your treasures out and are enjoying them and your music. this is a happy and joyful post and proves it can be done while living alone with your two precious pups.

    1. Thank you, Sandra for recognizing that with a healthy mind, one major illness under control, no aches and pains, one can indeed be old, live alone with dogs, and find so much joy in life, nature, and, of course Christmas.

  5. Such beautiful mementos you have from your family and friends. I'm especially impressed with the 100+ year old Santa made by your grandfather! What a treasure! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Inger.

  6. Those treasures from so many years ago, hand made by previous generations, and cards from this season, they are all showing that love continues through the years. Have a safe and joyful Christmas with Samson and Faith, if it snows that might be a bonus for you, with memories of your years in Sweden. Love from down south, our family are not able to come this year, but will be here in January and maybe March , so we have some time together to look forward to. XXXXX

  7. Just stopping by to wish you a Merry Christmas. Interesting about Santa traveling with goats in Sweden!

  8. I enjoyed the post so much. If you don't return until 2021, i hope u have a great holiday.

  9. I really enjoyed your Christmas decorations and reading the stories behind them. I have one of the Swedish straw goats. It was given to my us by a Swedish exchange student who stayed with my family during Christmas in 1968. I love the ornaments like that that bring back wonderful memories. If I don’t “see” you before the 24th, I wish you a lovely Christmas.

  10. your Christmas is full of memories and sweet treasures. I have a hunch your favorite is your Grandpa's Santa, it is quite wonderful and I love the details.

  11. Inger, you have wonderful Christmas decorations, all with memories attached to them, and little stories. I am like that too. Your 100 year old Santa is a treasure indeed. Your home is glowing with light and love. I am enjoying getting to know you better in this year of 2020. Merry Christmas.

  12. All your Christmas decorations look lovely in your home and wonderful to hear of your memories. May you have a Very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

  13. Your decorations--both old and new--are beautiful, Inger.


  14. your little desert canyon home is just FULL of joyous and treasured memories.
    those that can be displayed and those that are in your heart.
    thank you for sharing your life with all of us! that in itself is a generous gift!
    I LOVE Grandpa's little Santa! and I laughed about the goats in reindeer-land!
    but then I have always loved goats.
    and Merry Christmas dear Inger! wee you in the brand new year!!! XOXOXO

  15. wee you? LOLOL! it's a new sentiment. means we will see you!

  16. I love your grandfather's Santa Claus most of all!!!!!! I love your traditions - I can tell that they bring you contentment.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  17. I love your decorations! I wish I could have a tree, but we have 3 cats and I don't even bother to try to bring a tree in our house. It will be a joy short-lived.

    Also, thank you for the comment on my blog about Fran. I was sad to find out about her. She always made me laugh and smile and brightened my day with her delightful posts. I'm sorry you lost a dear friend too. I'm sending you warm hugs and hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  18. I love your Christmas decorations Inger especially your Santa and your grandmother's linens. There's something about those smells and tastes and sounds of Christmas, bringing them out every year, that either choke me up with tears or bring a huge feeling of comfort. This is our first year not putting up a Christmas tree- just lots of fairy lights and candles -, but the house feels empty somehow without it. It's been a tiring time and we'll go to my mum for a few days so it took away a lot of the reasons for putting up a tree- for others to see. Anyway, have a lovely Christmas and we'll raise a glass to the New Year and hope she's kinder all around. x

  19. Hi Inger - your 102 year old Santa is so so special - gorgeous to see him and learn about his roots ... and he comes with goats - amazing! Well done for sharing so much with us - I do hope you have a peaceful time ... and are able to enjoy some gentle walks with the dogs ... but all the very best and look forward to seeing you here in 2021, if not before. Take care and stay safe - Hilary

  20. Crumpets ... 110 years old ... he lost 8 years with me ... !! xoxo

  21. Merry Christmas, Inger. We certainly hope all is well in your Covid World. We are just fine and walk every day on our trails nearby. Massive hugs and keep on keeping on!
    Smiles from Ron and Jim in Nova Scotia!


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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