Tag Archives: Christmas

When the Holidays Aren’t So Merry or Bright

This time last year I was waiting on a miscarriage.

Nine weeks pregnant, I arrived at the ultrasound with a baby bean in my belly and a heart full of anticipation. And then, with a few fated words, the dreams that I had carried so close to my heart began to crumble once more.

“Maybe you’re not as far along as you thought…”

The ultrasound technician quietly snuck out to consult a doctor and I was left alone. Music floated softly through the room, and lyrics to the song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” assaulted my ears and ground against my wounded heart. Wrapped in a cheap, blue gown, I listened and I wept. It felt far from wonderful.

The doctor’s results were inconclusive and I was told to wait it out. For two weeks, I wrapped gifts and hung lights and attended holiday parties. With anxiety and secrets tucked behind an ugly Christmas sweater and a holiday smile, I waited to see if the baby would grow.

But mostly, I just waited to miscarry.

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Swedish Saffron Buns (Easy recipe for the non-baker!)

Saffron buns (called Lussekatter) are a favourite Christmastime treat for Swedes. Light, fluffy, and full of saffron infused goodness, these buns are traditionally enjoyed on December 13, St. Lucia Day.

St. Lucia Day is an advent celebration that takes places in Sweden and Norway. Honouring St. Lucia, who was martyred for her faith, girls chosen to play Lucia are dressed in flowing white robes with a red sash and crown of candles. Boys may celebrate by dressing up as “Stjärngossar” or “star boys.” (Take a look at last year’s Christmas video to see what this looks like!) Saffron buns are a major part of the days festivities and are often served for breakfast by the children.

When my husband’s family first introduced me to these buns a few years back, I wasn’t sure how I felt about them. Saffron is a flavour entirely foreign to me (I don’t usually cook with spices that cost more than gold!) But the treat’s unique flavour quickly grew on me.

This year, I decided to treat my husband to a batch of freshly made lussekatter. Given that I am not a baker and did not grow up making these buns, I wanted to find a simple recipe with a non-overwhelming taste.

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Waiting On A Miscarriage

The faint sound of sleigh bells and Andy Williams’ voice crooning, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” filled the small room. I lay on my back and stared up at the speckled ceiling tiles, my heart fighting off the crumbly ache that comes with bad news. I wished that they’d just turn the music off.

It felt far from the most wonderful time. In fact, it was quickly chalking up to be one of my least favourite days of this year.

The ultrasound technician had called me into the room a few minutes earlier. Shivering, I wrapped the blue cotton gown tight against my waist; my everyday clothes lay heaped in the changing room. I was here for a nine week ultrasound and the chance to finally see the newest babe growing inside of me.

“Is this your first pregnancy?” The technician asked as she directed me to lie down.

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A Swedish Christmas

A couple years ago, Andreas and I decided that we were too lazy to mail out Christmas cards and opted for a “Christmas video” instead. Turns out that videos are WAY more work than cards and this year’s video was no exception.

So what goes into planning a Christmas video, you ask? We start tossing ideas around in September (yes, September!) and begin writing and prepping so that we can film in November. (Andreas started working on this year’s original song back in October!) After a long day of filming, Andreas spends a good chunk of his December evenings busily editing the video so we can get it out to you before Christmas!

Phew. It’s a lot of work but the holiday hilarity is well worth it! Now we just have to start thinking about how we can top this one next year…

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