Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pink Suitcase Chronicles # 46: Christmas in MN

Pink was not only filled with clothes for the festive Christmas celebration in Minnesota but also a very happy Miss E.! Twenty six people gathered together for a Lindahl Christmas and she was the youngest family member in attendance. Though twenty four of us stayed in a hotel, we sure made the most of our time together. Wes' brother, Paul, had baked bread "just like Mom used to make" and had also made raspberry "neurotic" jam (thus named because of the hard work it took to pick all those wild raspberries while at the family cabin and then going crazy when it was eaten up so quickly). This was our first treat as we gathered together in the hotel.
Miss E. tried on this dress to wear to the Christmas Eve dinner, but it was only worn for minutes as it appeared to bother her. Luckily I managed to get a picture of her in it as I bought it for her.
Santa made an appearance at our Christmas Eve gathering!
He passed out fleece jammies to the younger members. Apparently the jammies can double as head warmers.
With so many people, we couldn't exactly fit into Wes' parents apartment. Fortunately, we borrowed the fellowship area of the meeting room and set up 4 tables. Bedsheets may or may not have been used for the tablecloths.
Here the beloved Grandparents pose with their 10 "Grands" and the two spouses that have been added to the family.
The only "Great" was asleep by this point.
See the cute sweater Miss E. is wearing once she wakes up the next morning?
Years ago Grandma made it for grand-daughter Samantha, and now it has been handed down to the youngest family member! So sweet.
Before our Christmas Day dinner, we had a little "beverage tasting" party. Fun-oh!
Now for the Christmas Day feast. It was impressive, to say the least.
Following our dinner, we played WHITE ELEPHANT Bingo and the much-desired tattoo sleeve
finally ended up in Sam's possession.
The last activity we shared that night was a slide show of old family pictures.
Early the next morning, the family started their home journeys. It was a weekend that passed so quickly, but the memories we made together will long be remembered and savored.
I hope you are remembering your Christmas with a smile on your face and love in your heart, too!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

N. O. E. L.

It has been one busy Christmas season in these parts! As a blogger, I have not known where to begin lately, so I thought I would just wish you well with a happy N.O.E.L. greeting update. I hope this has been a happy holiday season for you and yours!
N is for all those notes we hear this time of year that are old favorites as well as new hits. I love Handel's Messiah, Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols, and anything sung by children. (Do you consider Justin Beiber to be in that category? I admit to liking his new Mistletoe song.) We have been to many concerts and pageants thus far. A favorite memory was of young Otto at church whose animated antics reminded me very much of son John's years ago.
O is for opening cards and letters and getting updates of family and friends events and activities near and far. Many of our loved ones have added to their families this year with new marriages as well as births of little ones. Congratulations! E is for eating. Too much, I might add! Those holiday baked goods are doing me in and must be eaten in moderation. As if! L is for loved ones. We have had our first ever E.L.V.E.S. Holiday bash with my sister and her family. We had an early Christmas with our immediate seven. We entertained Wes' staff with a buffet at our condo. Carol and Mark came over for brunch. My co-workers celebrated together at Kim's. Wes had a "Guys" night with the Rholls. We had a smorgasbord and party at my sister's place where party-goers produced 66 pounds of korv sausage. Diann and I have exchanged our themed Christmas gifts. During this very busy, happy time I want to pause to remember those who are not having such a joyous Noel. Peace to Sandi and her family as they face their first Christmas without her Father. Healing to Cooper as he recovers from a bike accident. Comfort to Loren who faces his first Christmas without Rita. We remember Mom and Dad who would have been 90 this year. We think of those with broken family units. We pray for those long for offspring to love. In this Christmas season, may you feel surrounded by the greatest Love of all: the love of a Father for His Son who was born to be a King. EMMANUEL

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Very Young Lucia

Today is December 13 and is St. Lucia Day!
Were you greeted early this morning by a young girl carrying a lantern and a tray of Lucia buns and a cup of coffee? Was she wearing a crown of burning candles and a long white dress with a sash of red?
Not me/us either.
However, we have potential of that in future years with the way young Miss E took to the whole Lucia pageantry thing. On Saturday, we took her to the Sankta Lucia Pageant at North Park University.
She was mesmerized by the Pepperkaksgubbarna dancing and throwing candy to the audience. She loved the singing of carols. But what she wanted to see most was Lucia with the candles on her head.
Whenever we said the word Lucia Miss E. placed her hands on top her own head and said,
"Lucia! Candles! Head!"
She paid rapt attention and gave quite a bit of commentary as the pageant progressed and culminated with the appearance of Lucia. (Thanks for your patience, fellow audience surrounding us.)
When I asked E. to look at how Lucia holds her hands, palms together as if praying, E. copied the position herself. When the program was over, she led us to the stage, crawled up the steps and imitated Lucia's reverent pose.

We plan on handing this picture to her Swedish professor one day in the distant future and saying she has previous experience and should be next Lucia herself!

Happy Lucia Day one and all!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Quick! Before the kids are out of school!

Go visit Santa!
Never ever would we think of depriving children the experience of visiting Santa - if that is their wish (or their parent's wish). Recently, the Nelson sisters just
had to visit Santa themselves after their annual lunch at Macy's in the famous
Walnut Room. You see, we never ever visited Santa as girls.
(There was no "Santa" in our parental home.)
While I visited with Santa a couple of years ago with my friend Carol,
Diann had never done this. It was time.

With no children in line, in fact no one even close by, Diann and I made the winding trip through the State Street Macy's "Santa Land" and were escorted to the throne room of a Jolly Santa. We declined the offer to sit in his lap.

We stated our Wish Requests (including World Peace)

and were on our merry way.

Now it's just a matter of waiting.

You're never too old...we asked Santa himself!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Advent Calendar: Second Generation

Back in the mid 1980s, I spent a whopping $4.50 for Vogue pattern # 2794 and made two fabric Advent calendars (tucking one away for future use) for young Anne and John.
Each day, a felt ornament would be attached to a Christmas tree festooned with forest animals and birds. It was a competitive "sport" to see which kid could get the favorite ornament - and of course, there were ornaments that were more appealing to each child.
Ah, sibling rivalry!

Many, many years have passed since that Advent calendar was hanging in our home.

And now it has gone to a new home in which a little girl seems to be very happy about having it.

To all I wish a very happy Advent season!