What's grey and white and neon orange all over?


Some things should be done on weekends is moving furniture around,  decorating for winter holidays and taking Instagram pictures of it all setting a proper filter to make things look even prettier. I was never too fond of traditional Christmas...partially for not knowing what traditional Christmas actually means. As a perestroika child I did not decorate Christmas trees or write letters to Santa Claus - I put up a New Year pine tree and hoped that Ded Moroz and Snegurochka will not show up this year that I don't have to suffer an embarrassment of singing a song to them in exchange for a gift, and a squirrel or a hare or at least a fox will leave a Barbie for me under the pine tree, so that in the early morning of the 1st of January I will righteously come to claim it...soon realizing that my dad drank a bit too much sweet Champagne and ate too much Olivier and Vinaigrette salad and forgot to put it there. Happy New Barbie to me! But so what's Christmas anyways? A night from 6th to the 7th of January when everyone goes to church and looks sad while the priest does rounds with Jesus icon covered with some golden brocade towel? Honestly, when you are nine years old there's nothing in the universe that can convince you that Christmas is fun. Yet my great grand mother used to say that you can do all kind of magic tricks on Christmas, predict your fortune with coffee and cards. You can also use magic to make your dear one fall in love with you, because all kinds of demons come out and rejoice their last minutes on Earth before midnight, when the Lord is born. Wow, it was almost like voodoo - and THAT was Christmas!
Then the Danish taught me what Christmas was - lights and toys, sweet hot wine and cookies. At the museum where was this strange mummy that I had nightmares about in the years to come...not that I've never seen a dead person before - there were great grand mothers, theirs brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins and a good mate that died buried under a pile of sand, but they all looked alright - they just looked like the dead people... the mummy though was brown and had an open mouth with nasty teeth sticking out. But at the very same museum, at the entrance hall stood a Christmas tree decorated with paper cones, paper garlands, little hearts in felt fabric and little men with a wooden bead for a head. Paper cones were filled with candy. Candy on a Christmas tree? Well, soon after my visit there was just a little bit less of it....but aaanywizzy....no one ever told the security, I guess.
I was so impressed with the Nordic Christmas - it made me happy, and that was the most important. Everything was light and pretty, and every window had a white and red glowing heart in it. Every street was spewed with lights and garlands and the air smelled of cookies and spice. That was the beginning of my neverending tender relationship with the north. I even tried to read those strange comic books about bears in Danish, and to eat the salmon paste from a tube that looked like toothpaste.
And now I decorate white twigs and drink Glögg. Soon we'll buy the Christmas tree and I'll decorate it with my white and red hearts and hide the gifts I'll bring back from London underneath it... and speaking of gifts - I've got my favourite birthday gift to decorate the chimney. I received the neon orange Hay folder from a friend, but just like everyone, I do not keep much paper inside - it sits atop the chimney as the only colourful Christmas decoration, like a setting sun, or a flower...or a potential multy segmented paper cone to be filled with candy, just like on those Danish Christmas trees.
Christmas smells good, looks good and feels cozy. Me likey.


  1. I love this post! I think it's so interesting to hear about other people's holiday traditions and how they feel about Christmas. I'm spending the holidays in Sweden and I totally agree with you that Nordic Christmas is so good. It feels somehow less commercial than Christmas in the US or UK. I have my tree all decorated and lit up... just sitting on the sofa staring at it now. Definitely have that cozy feeling! xx