So, Zok played the role of 'Tomtefar' or Swedish Father Xmas-
There is a tradition of a family friend dressing up and coming to the apartment after the end of 'Kalle Anke' aka the very strange, truncated bits of different Disney films, mostly dubbed via a louder narrated voice talking over the original dialog, T.V. program shown each and every 'Julafton' aka Swedish Xmas, or the 24th of December.
Our friends all remember watching this each and every year of their lives, and from the vantage of our friends apartment we could see all the neighbors doing exactly as us.
Zok was smashing! The whole experience was delightful.
Our friends came in from (ahem) taking out the trash (aka dressing up Zok in a nearby apartment) and were very animated saying "Hey, Hey we think we saw Santa walking to the streets!" and we all ran out to the balcony to see Zok tramping up the road. Hilarious.
Although we didn't have an actual white Christmas, we had so much snow over November I did not feel cheated in the least. I also got to go to not one xmasfair but two, the one here in Gamla Stan and the one in Chester.
Oh! I almost forgot, I also went to the traditional market at Skansen, and it was still snowing then (with my friend who was visiting).
I wish I had the ability (motivation?) to write out just what a long, somewhat hard yet laced with many inspirations and surprises this last year has been.
Looking back on this blog, I would have to guess, because as it is not a confessional diary, and I would have to know from the lack of posts what kind of year 2015 has been.
I really have more friends that any one person could deserve. I got to see many of them this year- and many helped me more than I can repay- not that friendships are or should be about some set of accounts and balances.
Really dear friends got married this year- all quietly...which I respect.
I felt tested more than once, and now as I think back...I didn't excel but I did not do anything to embarrass myself either, and I am going to just call that a win.
For every new friendship that did not work out...I think I learned that not every person will become important in one's life, and that should not feel like some sort of failure. In fact, I choose to recognize that I am fortunate to have so many opportunities.
On the subject of the mundane, the reason this blog has been neglected since our return to Sweden, has been in part to my sudden, active, social life and my decision to go back to SFI. Swedish For Immigrants, is a subject that deserves its own post. But let me just note that I got up at 6 a.m. (not in my nature) Monday through Friday, for maybe four months? Due to this I was acutely aware of the growth of Stockholm, the perspective of new immigrants, the culture clashes as exemplified on my crowded, crowded, morning commute.
While I may not have actually bonded with my classmates, I did try...which for me again, is winning.
We had a lovely Christmas, as we also did last year with our neighbors, and that feels like it was yesterday, or ten years ago...
We visited a lot of people, and were visited by a lot of people this last year and the new year is started out the same way.
All of this makes me feel very positive, if albeit a little harried...but soon I'll be able to sneak off to the beach and read a book, in english.