Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas, part I

Jeremy and I just returned from 8 days in Kansas City, visiting with relatives of Jeremy's. We went down a day earlier then planned to avoid all the awful weather that was brewing. Sure enough, it snowed in Minneapolis quite a bit on Wednesday. I was bummed that we had missed out on the snow - it was completely dry in Kansas City. I think it was even 50 degrees on Wednesday. But then on Thursday it started snowing and it didn't stop! Then I was much happier to be in KC because it stayed cold and kept snowing, while in Minneapolis it warmed up a bit and they got freezing rain and all sorts of ugliness.

Its tradition in Jeremy's family to go out for Japanese food on Christmas eve (this started many years ago when they were feeling sick and looking for some place that sold chicken soup...) We braved the icy, snowy roads and had a great dinner at Jun's Authentic Japanese.

The next tradition is to get up at 5 in the morning on Christmas morning and go to the Swedish service at a Baptist church in town. Apparently the Swedes celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, partying all day, opening gifts, and staying up all night. They end the celebration by going to the church service at 6 in the morning. Then they nap on Christmas day!
5:30 am Christmas morning: the snow had really come down and nothing had been plowed. The snow was still coming down and the windshield wipers were frozen to the windshield. We squashed into the car and drove carefully through the white, abandoned streets. Karin, Jeremy's mom, was tempted to stop many times as we approached hills, valleys, ruts, and piles of snow. We all yelled encouragements: "Keep going, keep going! Just drive through it!" And then whoops and hollers as we plowed through another pile of snow. We finally got to the church and discovered a van stuck trying to enter the parking lot.
Jeremy and his brother leaped out of the car to render assistance. After about 30 minutes of shoveling, scooping, pushing, and conferring, the van was finally able to back out of the parking lot. In the mean time we found out the church service was canceled! Another would-be church attender showed up in the midst of this and she had brought a car full of the Swedish tea cake rings that would have been served after the service. She handed us a whole ring, still warm, and we all drove back through the snowy streets to our warm homes.

We opened gifts later that morning. I'll post some pictures of gifts later. We still have some gifts to hand out! But, here are the awesome new boots I got!

And here I am testing them out (tags still on!) and trying to eat some falling snow.

An unfortunate addition to the holiday spirit, we saw this sign on a walk through the neighborhood. Tucked in with santas, polar bears & penguins, and a giant Noel: "No Trespassing. Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again." That's the spirit...

We had a great, long, relaxing time down in Kansas City. I received a box of t-shirts to be made into a quilt for next Christmas. Oh boy do I have a lot of sewing projects ahead of me!

I'll post some photos of gifts we made next week after we have our second gift exchange with the sisters-in-law (and then there will be more photos after Christmas with my family in late January!).

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