I have a Swedish friend who has spent the last several years indoctrinating me with the 322 national celebrations of Sweden. It does not cease to amaze me week after week, all throughout the year, as she relates the joys of yet another Swedish holiday.
In fact, we were just over at her house the other day celebrating "the throwing out of the Christmas Tree" festival, somehow I forgot the Swedish word for this. Anyway, this cheery celebration includes dancing around the tree singing silly Swedish songs, removing all the decorations, eating the ornately designed gingerbread house, and the whole event is then capped off by throwing the tree out the door.
If you don't believe me that there is a national holiday every other week, check this out and you will know that I'm not pulling your leg. Not only do a thousand of these festivals exist, but the Swedes are pretty serious about celebrating them. At least that's what I observe from my one Swedish friend. She does represent all of Sweden doesn't she?
Whether or not she represents the whole nation, I gotta say, I love the Swedes.
They are a hearty and kind people.
They love to be naked.
They make magical buns of delight. But instead of bacon, theirs are sweet buns filled with all kinds of nordic surprises.
And as described above, they love to celebrate. It seems to me that it doesn't really matter the reason.
It's dark eighteen hours a day... let's gather around the bonfire.
The light is returning... let's party.
Time to say goodbye to Christmas... let's join in with the neighbors as we all toss that big bristly bush out the door.
All this to say, my Swedish friend has taught me a thing or two about winter, cold and carrying on.
It's a good thing too. The other morning it was somewhere in the realm of negative ninety degrees outside. My husband called on his way to work to report that I had left the interior lights on all night in the car. He wished me luck on getting it to start.
And I knew there was reason to celebrate. The joy of having legs that run. The fantastic sensation of lungs that breath. The great and mighty sun that shines. And babies that say "WOoHoO!" all the way home.