As 2023 comes to a close, I am grateful for sharing more “normal” time with family and friends. These last few weeks have been so much about the gatherings and celebrations the holidays entail, and for me, it is truly the most wonderful time of the year.
Thanksgiving was a small family dinner, but we resumed our tradition of making entirely too many pies, and so invited friends for our Friday Pie Day to share the variety—it was quite a spread this year.
I know I’ve shared in the past my family’s tradition of hosting an annual Swedish smorgasbord around Christmas time. We spend days beforehand making foods—breads, several types of meatballs, a baked ham, pickled cucumber and beets, and cookies among them—and lay out a spread with the addition of cheese, fish, salami, and much more. This year’s was a roaring success with late arrivals missing out on some of the more popular dishes. We’ll have to make more next year!
In the Swedish tradition, we celebrated on Christmas Eve with a family smorgasbord followed by opening gifts. Christmas morning is a breakfast of Swedish rice porridge. There is supposed to be one almond in the pot, and whoever gets it is predicted to get married in the next year. We’re not quite sure where the tradition came from, but in order to get a scoop of porridge, one has to come up with an original rhyme. The morning customarily devolves into me going hungry while everyone else rhymes about how horrible I am at rhyming, especially first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I managed two spoonsful of porridge this year while my niece had about ten.
New Year’s Eve will be a quiet one at home with some fun nibbles, champagne, and a fire going as we welcome 2024. Who knows if I’ll even make it to midnight?
Would you like to share some of your holiday traditions? What brings you joy, especially this time of year when it can feel so dark and cold? Whatever and however you celebrate, I wish you warmth and love during this season and a wonderful 2024!