Friday, December 3, 2010

Winter's been here for awhile now

Well friends. The other day, we woke up to a balmy -18 here in Uppsala. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Well, except for those poor Australian kids. How they manage to get into the Christmas spirit with +25 and a Santa in a Hawaii shirt, I'll never know. In this season of giving, I'd like to propose an exchange program. I would begrudgingly, in the name of all that is good and right, force my teary-eyed boys onto an airplane this December to switch places with one of those poor, deprived Aussie families. It's the right thing to do. So please, if you know of a family in need, get in touch.

"Little Man, you're not supposed to hit Mommy." "I didn't do it, you did," he fires back with full confidence. Geez, maybe I did? No, wait.  little fibber! Have had to find a way to explain "lying" to a 4-year old. Still working on different analogies.

Been a busy season for us what with all the decorating, visiting, eating and turning up and down the heat. Oh and the online shopping of course. Yup, this year I decided to get all technical and stuff. Even had the fams send through some gift cards for Amazing how much time you can spend sitting on your ass clicking around for Christmas prezzies (still half the time and stress involved running around with a zillion other shoppers). Because I couldn't very well leave online shopping to the last minute, I made sure I had everything ordered yesterday with a guarantee on the website that my parcels would arrive before Christmas. phewf.

And because I know my way around the site now, I made sure everything I ordered was both "in stock" and direct from Amazon (as opposed to some 3rd party merchant). So I get some emails last night to confirm that my orders had already been dispatched. They took my bulk order and split into two shipments. No matter, I was eligible for Free Super Saver Shipping, delivery between 7 and 10 working days. Hip, hip, hurray. And then...Only to sit in horror while processing the following line of text for one of my two shipments: "Expected delivery date: December 31st". WTF?????????????????? (the other one said December Cue scathing email to customer service with words like "misleading" and "you better" and "asap" and "angry".

So I get a response back to the effect that yes, there was a mistake in the estimated delivery time and a guarantee that my parcel will arrive before December 31st... but no guarantee that it will arrive before Christmas. So I will now spend a significant portion of my already busy day yelling at some poor customer service professional.

Ahhh...the joys of the season. Speaking of such joys, we decided to throw a Christmas party/Hubby's 50th Birthday party here in Uppsala at the house on December 18th. The idea being to replace our disappointment in not getting home with festive cheer and presents! Well, we actually know a few more ppl. then we thought we did and with a guest list of 25 and ALL 25 CONFIRMED (and a few stragglers we feel so bad about not inviting that we may have to), we're sorta screwed. Especially if they bring their kids.  Our 2-level townhouse will not fit that many revelers. So what now? It's Christmas. It's not like we have extra cash to hold it at some hall. So instead, we squish everyone together and pray no one notices their body is pressed up against some stranger's ass.  Oh and the kids. You see in this country, if you have small children and you're invited to a house party, you usually bring said small children. I was worried about this so stated somewhere in the invite that the party is for big kids but if you want to bring your little kids, you can (as my little kid ain't goin' nowhere). What I should have said is: If you can't leave your kids at home, don't bother coming. Insert F-word.

And instead of having it catered, which costs a bloody fortune, I'll be sweatin' in the kitchen most of the time. And they don't have any of those wonderful little stores in Canada that sell frozen, boxed and yummy hors d'oeuvres so I have to make such things myself. Say hello to one freaked out Canadian woman.

If someone, anyone has even the tiniest suggestion for my party dilemma, please, please share it now. I'll owe you one.

I'll get it all figured out. Just breathe Jenn. Breathe.
Happy decorating and entertaining and gift purchasing and stressing Merry Ones! xoxo


Den said...

You'll be amazed at how many people love 'having their body pressed up against some stranger's ass' LOL!

You'll be fine!!! For good party food, just make anything - lasgane, pizza, quiche etc - and then using a cake cutter, cut into small bit-sized rounds that look fiddly and exotic but aren't! You can make the stuff way in advance, cut into rounds and freeze. Simply heat up on the day or serve tricky things (that might goo when warmed up)cold.

Good luck with the big kids/ little kids thing!!! X

SwedishJenn said...

hahahaha Den! Well they'll learn to love it, that's for sure.

I absolutely, positively adore your idea!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are my saviour. It sounds so simple, which is likely why I never would have thought of it myself...I tend to overcomplicate things. perfect idea for warm appetizers. xoxoxo

septembermom said...

Den has some great advice! I know that you'll do fabulous Jenn. You're like Martha Stewart over there :) Also, I'm freezing just thinking about the temp over there!

Michelle said...

Hi Jen,

I found the start of this hilarious, as I am Australian and just went off the the Scandinavian Christmas bazaar here in 31 degree (c) heat... bit too warm. That said, I am moving to Uppsala in a month so I'll just have a belated christmas celebration there with a little warm glögg.

As for the party - try and make food you can prepare beforehand, so there is not too much to do during the party and then you can actually enjoy yourself. For example I usually make a large plate of different dips, some smoked ham and salmon, cheeses and then warm turkish bread in the oven.

Also, you could make a potato bake the day before, and just throw in the oven before the party and leave for an hour or two, and people can serve themselves, or make some little meatballs the day before - they only take 10 or so minutes to cook in a fry pan, and let people serve themselves with those too.

A quiche is also a good idea as someone else mentioned, and along with a salad you should be good to go.

One nice, easy to make dessert is using the Anna gingerbread thins with layers of cream (which you can flavour with some cinnamon, cloves and sugar) in between and then covered in cream - I think you guys call them an icebox cake or something like that. That takes 30 mins to make max and you have to do that the day before so it has time to soften.