December 13th – carrying light!

IMG_0739 morning 2We will be eating breakfast at a secret place tomorrow!

I whispered this to my two girls while I tucked them in. I knew it would make them excited, I knew they would not be able to sleep, I knew they would be whispering to each other and try to figure it all out as soon as I left the room. That was part of my plan, surprise, expectations and secrets are  important ingredients of happy memories, and I always tried to make the most of everything where no material gifts were involved.

The girls were only two and four years old and did not know of Santa Lucia, the Saint that walks through Scandinavia on the longest, darkest night and wakes the household with lights, coffee and saffron buns.

The next morning I dressed them in white night-dresses on top of their usual clothes. I had made baskets with saffron buns, and in the car I told them of my plan. We were going to surprise their great-grandmother with singing and breakfast! They loved it, in the car we practised the Lucia song, they had a bun each for starters, and then we were there.

IMG_1612 morningThe dawn was coloring the sky soft pink and the world was covered in snow when I lighted their candles and followed them to the door.

My grandmother was just as surprised as I had hoped. She was just as happy as I had dreamed of. The four of us were gathered in her living room, the girls sitting on the floor beside her, and we had the loveliest, most memorable breakfast together.

I would have loved to say we did that forever after. We did not, this was the only time. I would have loved to say we kept visiting someone for surprise breakfasts, we did not. I allowed plans and expectations, obligations and schedules take over our advents for many years. Deep inside I have this treasured memory though, and the assurance that magic can happen when I listen to my heart and follow it’s prompts.

Believe me, I know better than most how frantic and exhausting it is possible to make the season of peace and goodwill. The main story on Indexyourlife in December will be my way to a Christmas free of tangles.

In December my brother and I write an advent calendar blog together in norwegian.You may visit at  JULEFRYD or Christmas Joy. This year we will be writing or sharing thoughts and joys of gifts, giving and sharing. We will post there every day, and I will share some of that blog here on indexyourlife too.

All pictures at Indexyourlife are mine, if not otherwise stated.


3 thoughts on “December 13th – carrying light!

  1. This is a very sweet story. I think most of my favorite memories were of simple things done that involved sharing joy with others. I am still enjoying your Advent postings. It was great fun to read the one that you wrote about the leather worker at Sutter’s Fort! It was a good lesson for me to read it just then, as it made me think about some people who have recently been very deserving of my thanks, but I have neglected to express my appreciation. Sometimes I think about how much someone has done for me, and enjoy inside their care, but forget to verbally tell them. It’s as if I assume they know how I feel…but of course that is not so. One little thing I try to do whenever I am out shopping is to try to personalize my interactions with shop keepers or checkout people. I think how wearisome they must feel dealing with customer after customer, hour after hour. They have become automated with their “How are you today” or “Did you find everything you were looking for.” I try to stop what I am doing, still my hands and make sustained eye contact, and inquire about how they are doing and chat for a while with them as the focus. I try to remember to thank them for serving me. Sometimes I will get cranky, or busy, or forget to do this. But when I remember again I love that moment of connection. Yesterday I was in a store that was crazy Christmas busy. Everyone around me looked stressed and tired. The woman in line in front of me had just given the young woman at the register a hard time over something she couldn’t control. When it was my turn I said to her, “You must be exhausted! How are your feet, back and heart holding up?” She jerked her head up in surprise, looked me deep in the eyes and said, ”That is the first nice thing anyone has said to me today!” Then she smiled a radiant smile as we continued to chat a bit. But the best part was that as I was leaving I heard the woman behind me say to her, “I appreciate your hard work!” Perhaps we had started a chain of thanks!

    • What a wonderful and inspiring story,you are so sweet! I try to do that too, and it always make my day better too! Thanks for sharing! Do you need me to translate the Sutters Fort post? I’d love to. Just now we are heading out to buy a Christmas tree wearing shorts and with the top down, that’s a first!

  2. Well it would be fun to read your translation and compare it to the funny one that Goggle Translate did. With Google translate we acan always figure out what you are saying, but sometimes it is pretty convoluted!

    Shorts with the top down…too funny. We have left the freezing weather behind in Elk Grove, but it is still much too cold to go without a coat and long pants, forget all about the shorts!

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