A truly happy holidays

I’m not normally a big Christmas girl, but this year I’ve been earnestly looking forward to it ever since jacket weather started. Perhaps it’s because I recently added Chez Larsson to my RSS reader, and Christmas in Sweden just seems so…magical. Whenever Benita posts a photograph of her cozy little house at dusk, all cheerfully lit up with candles and strings of holiday lights, I immediately want to beam myself over there to share a cup of something warm and play with bits of ribbon and paper. (Sidenote: if you’ve never seen Benita’s blog, holy hovj√§rn*. Her house is incredible. I have no idea how she keeps it so clean; I suspect Scandinavia is an enchanted place where dirt just falls from your shoes out of politeness before you enter the house.)

So maybe it’s Sweden. But also, after what has amounted to a really horrible year for myself and my family, maybe I’m just appreciating the comfort and the togetherness of the holiday season more than I used to. Bad shit — not just the normal “my life isn’t living up to my exceedingly high American expectations” angst, but the really bad shit — has a way of clarifying how important family and friends are. And why wouldn’t you want to bake a ton of Christmas cookies for the people who have been lending you kleenex and a listening ear for six long months?

Or, replace cookies with candied pecans in my case:

I made, um, 3 pounds of them. Packed up in little IKEA jars and spruced up with tags I cut from an old gift box, they make pretty good hostess/office gifts.

Let’s see…what other Benita-esque photos can I share? You can see that, after many shenanigans, we finally got that pesky tree up. Here’s what goes under it:

I have serious present-wrapping envy when I skim other DIY blogs. People do some amazingly elegant and creative things. Me, I had no present-wrapping game plan, so I had to put this together in an hour or so using whatever I had lying around. And then I whipped up one of these…

…using a few leftover tree branches. The icicle lights pressing up against the ENJE shade make a pretty nifty pattern, but I wanted something to cover the lower half of the window. Enter the wreath made of reject tree parts. I googled how to make tissue paper flowers and added a few of those to fancy it up a bit, since I don’t have access to holly berries or anything.

That’s all from this holiday house! Enjoy your together time, everyone. Have a glass of glogg for me.


*Horseshoe, apparently. I was just going for the alliteration.