Day 186 — The end of Christmas, finally (almost)

Today was trettondag jul, the thirteenth day of Christmas. It celebrates the day that the three wise men arrived to Bethlehem with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. I think because Christmas is celebrated here on the 24th instead of the 25th we did not hear the “12 Days of Christmas” once all season. At any rate, this was a holiday in Sweden with schools, offices and many stores closed. The garbage was picked up yesterday instead of today so the sanitation workers were definitely off.

Today sort of signifies the end of Christmas and people take down their decorations and get rid of the trees. So we did. I say “sort of” because in Sweden, Norway and Finland, Christmas does not “officially” end until the twentieth day of Christmas, which would be next Friday. Scandinavians really like to drag it out, I guess. But I think most people ended it today. Next Friday is not a holiday.

Everything was taken down and carefully put away for next year under the watchful gaze of a stern taskmaster.

There was some debate about how to dispose of the tree. I brought up the idea of just dragging it out to the forest and dumping it. I posted on the blog recently about all the trees I saw that had been cut down to thin the forest. They were lying all over the place. One more would not even be noticed, assuming we got every last piece of tinsel off. I mean, the country is 60% forest after all. But no, this is Sweden and Christmas trees need to be recycled, or at least disposed of properly. So, you have to take them to the disposal center in town. Mariette checked with her mother who said that it would definitely be frowned on to dump a tree in the forest (with all the other similarly sized trees that were recently cut down). So, I dutifully tied our tree to my bike trailer and huffed it up to the city dump after checking their website to make sure they were open today. When I got there the place was closed, so someone is going to find a Christmas tree next to the gate tomorrow morning.

It rained a lot the past few days and the yard had many puddles as the temperature dropped overnight and this morning we awoke to clear skies and a frozen lawn fit for ice skating. There might even be some snow in the forecast in a few days. But today was bright and clear with a beautiful sunset (with contrail) that Mariette got some nice shots of:



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