This weekend has been a wonderful mix of traditions. Today it is the first of advent here in Sweden. The four Sundays leading up to Christmas are celebrated by lighting a candle. Each Sunday is represented by a candle. Today is the first Sunday so only one candle is lit and next Sunday two candles will be lit and so on until all four are lit.
We also celebrated Thanksgiving. We decided to make a small Thanksgiving celebration on our own Saturday evening. As Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Sweden and we were not off from work on Thursday and Friday we decided Saturday would be our Thanksgiving day here. We had a very nice dinner yesterday. I did not make an entire turkey because that is way too much food for two people. Instead I made a large chicken in the oven with lemon, garlic and thyme. We had potatoes and sweet potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce. The food was delicious I must say. We opened a nice bottle of wine. We lit the candles and just had one of the best dinners in a long time. We talked about memories from Alabama. We even took out the book I made about our home and our years in Alabama. Reliving sweet memories. Even if I am very well aware that there were times when things were difficult for me and things did not feel so sweet back then I am still very happy and grateful that I got the chance to experience what we did. I am so happy I got the opportunity and that I took the opportunity. Those years we had there gave us so much. Alabama will always be in our heart and the friends we have there that are very dear to us. Hopefully we will be able to see each other next year again.
I put up my Christmas ornaments. Both new and old.
I decided to bake a soft gingerbread cake. This kind of cake is very popular for Christmas and for advent in Sweden. It has lots of spices like cloves and cinnamon. It has the same taste as the gingerbread cookies that are also very popular here in December. I also added some lingonberries into my cake. Advent Sundays are also celebrated by drinking the warm spicy wine called glögg together with gingerbread cookies and saffron buns called Lussekatter. Usually I bake my own Lussekatter but this year since I made the gingerbread cake I did not make any Lussekatter.
Light, light, light. You just can't get enough light here in December in Sweden. But with lots of candles and Christmas lights things become better and pretty cozy. This year I bought this long cylinder vase that I added these small lights to. It really gives a cozy warm glow.