Christmas Wrapping

WRAPPING-2I am the (or a) middle child in my family (of 4 siblings). My older sister, who is in the middle with me, is quite traditional in many ways. But I have made it my life’s mission to stand out as much as possible in my family. Not out of spite, probably, but just like, because I want everyone to think I’m weird.

This is especially true at Christmas. Long ago I stopped buying regular Christmas wrapping paper in favor for making my own (like one year I made a lino cut and stamped kraft paper). Other years I’ve done plain white, or black with white crosses. This year I have ALL these Stendig calendar pages. They’ve been sitting in my closet, some for a whole year, waiting to be used. What better way to leave my mark on this Christmas by crowding the tree with a display of black and white typography? WRAPPING-3I also hate wrapping presents, it should be noted. The least amount of effort I can put in is preferable. Of course a festive red bow would be very complementary but ehhhh, too lazy. WRAPPING-4My office scissors are from IKEA, of all places. WRAPPING-1The problem with these pages is that it’s much thicker than regular wrapping paper, and I don’t like using regular tape; I use washi duct tape. Anyway, the presents don’t like to stay super wrapped.

Alan isn’t anal about how his presents are wrapped, so, bless him, he has to buy his own paper at the store, which I think is really sweet and adorable (since he didn’t really grow up celebrating Christmas. He does this all for me. Awwwww).

BTW, if you’re looking for one of these calendars, they are way sold out. I tried to warn you. Better luck next year.

Christmas Shindig

XMASWEEK-1On Saturday we did a new thing: throw a grown up holiday party! We cooked food and made a display, and had a few special drinks. Of course it ended like a normal party at our house though, with a few stragglers falling asleep on the couch and/or guest bed. It’s just nice to have the house full of lights, smells and the sounds of friends you love dearly. The part was in the Swedish tradition of solstice, with a emphasis on Hygge. We even had glögg! While it didn’t snow, it was cold, which was good enough. We’d been having some sort of December monsoon (having it right now as a matter of fact). With a fire going in the back yard all night though, you couldn’t tell the difference. It was enough to make the season merry and bright. I took a few “before” photos. My friend Jen said it felt like Christmas Eve. #missionaccomplished.



Suffice to say, I had an epic hangover the next day, and I swear I am not drinking ever again, for real. Glögg is good, though! XMASWEEK-6XMASWEEK-9XMASWEEK-7I had Christmas hymns from hundreds of years ago playing, and every candle in the house lit. It was truly my love letter to December and I had a lot of help putting it together. Even though the party and theme was my idea, Alan really dove in and brought some great ideas to the table (he took it upon himself to infuse some vodka we used for punch. It was *sick*) and he put up lights in the back yard! My bff Jen and her boyfriend Andy also came over to help prep. It was a real adult soiree! Until, you know, we all got super tips. Skål!


Hello, how was your holiday weekend? Mine was all over the place. I ran a 5k on Thanksgiving morning! And then Alan and I drank bloody marys and went to my parents’ house for food and family time. A record 40 family members were in attendance; the 60th year of Royce Thanksgiving. And all the tiny ones were out in full force because my siblings and cousins have been procreating like rabbits.TG-WEEKEND-1So many tinies! TG-WEEKEND-2TG-WEEKEND-3TG-WEEKEND-4TG-WEEKEND-5It was a rare gloomy Thanksgiving, and our annual walk wasn’t the usual crowded affair. Just me, Alan and my dad. It was about 4 o clock, and everything was very moody and atmospheric. Really got me in the mood for impending Christmas.

TG-WEEKEND-7I joined my parents and sister on their annual trip to cut down their Christmas tree. This used to be my tradition as well, and I don’t think I’d been along for like 7 years. TG-WEEKEND-9(note – I don’t know these people)TG-WEEKEND-12TG-WEEKEND-13TG-WEEKEND-16

And then of course there was my own Christmas decorating which was in FULL FORCE. I cranked the tunes, got out the pine candles and decked the muthafuckin’ halls.TG-WEEKEND-17TG-WEEKEND-19TG-WEEKEND-20TG-WEEKEND-21TG-WEEKEND-22TG-WEEKEND-24Even hit the ground running by baking a batch of sugar cookies. This time of year always feels so fleeting and in past years I don’t feel like I got into the season as much as I could… So I’m packing it all in. TG-WEEKEND-18This season also turns me temporarily lutheran again and I lit a candle for the first Sunday of Advent. Gosh, Lutheranism has the best and coziest of holiday traditions. Played summa dat Old World Christmas a lot too.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve from our little Flopsy up there. I imagine this moment here is Arya’s least favorite part of any year. She really hates those antlers. Though she’s not as averse as she is to this little Christmas tree hat I got for her. That one didn’t work out so well.
arya_christmas2 arya_christmas3
“Why… Why are you doing this to me?”
Poor ragamuffin. It’s worth noting that “Christmas Time is Here” from Charlie Brown was playing during all this. Very apropos.

I hope you all have merry holidays, however you wish to celebrate, or not celebrate. We never did get that snowfall, but we’re grateful to have a light and warm house at this time of year, and good friends and family to spend this time with. #BLESSED.

So this is Christmas?

 Image-1Look at it. Miserable. I’m trying not to let this weather get to me. But this Drab December Dreariness might be too much. At the time of writing this, it’s 49 degrees in Minneapolis. Gross! I wrapped some presents while listening to Christmas music and that was sort of working to get me into the spirit but then I looked into the yard and I see brown-green grass and dour gray clouds. Come onnnn Christmas! I’m going to watch David Fincher’s Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, where Sweden is cold and covered in snow and they do Christmas correctly.  Honestly, it is one of my favorite movies to watch at Christmas. What kind of stuff gets you into the spirit of the season? Or maybe you’re not really into Christmas, in which case, get the hell outta here.

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