I hosted my final Book Club White Elephant Party last Monday night. It was ever enjoyable with loads of silliness. I scored a super good gift however: A pink pig, which Tanner loves. The robust oink that it makes is a special bonus.
Wednesday during the staff fika time, the personnel of Immanuel took a moment to say farewell to us. As is tradition, someone wrote a song about us and the staff sang it. It was touching and cute. To the tune of Frosty the Snowman it began, "Jodi and Douglas..." I was a bit teary a points. They also gave us some lovely Orrefors crystal candle holders and a couple of coffee mugs to encourage us to continue to light candles and have fika. And in classic Swedish tradition, handed me an enormous bouquet of cut Amaryllis. They are absolutely stunning and I'm so thrilled I can enjoy them throughout this season!
Wednesday night we attended a concert at Immanuel that the Hotel Birger Jarl puts on. It was a cool mix of traditional and funky with loads of instruments that included a harmonica, string quartet, mandolin, and various items for percussion. It was a great time!
Although Lucia is traditionally on December 13, when it falls on a Saturday, companies and schools hold their pageants the day before. Early on Friday I walked over to Immanuel and was greeted by the amazing choir of Adolf Fredrik's music school and the glowing candle light of Lucia. Such beauty.
Then I zipped out to Ikea for a few items and lo and behold, even Ikea was hosting a Lucia concert for their employees! Fun to get in it on a few songs and another Lucia tåg as it is called. (Tåg is train.)
Finally, last night we hosted our annual youth Christmas party. It was filled with fun and laughter. I made my signature hot apple cider and had brownie sundaes for dessert...two fan favorites with this crowd! I discovered I only have one more brownie mix in my cupboard...good timing. Will be so weird when I can just go to the store and get one no longer needing to stock up on them and haul them across the pond!
The kids in our youth groups through the years have always held a special place in our hearts. We love having them and will miss a house filled with the noise and joy of teenagers.
I went to bed last night savoring the joy of a week filled with things that I have loved but will now no longer participate in in quite the same way. While certain things tug at my heart strings, I am so grateful for all the years we've had that mostly I'm just happy to know that these things will be a part of my life, if only in my heart, forever.