Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

I am currently sitting in Sweden after having spent Christmas with my family up here. For the second year in a row, my husband joined me, thereby giving me the chance to spend time with all of the people in my life I love the most. 

It is times like this that reminds me of how much love I am surrounded by. I am literally loved on two different continents and despite all of the hard times that gives me, I couldn't have been luckier.  I miss my family every day but as I am building my life in Connecticut it slowly but steadily gets easier.

There are still things that will never be easy. Like watching my niece grow from a tiny baby to a girl with a mind of her own and the determination to prove it. I only see fragments. Every time I come home, she is a little bigger, she has more to say and I feel like I am loosing out on all the small moments in between. The ones that define her and who she is becoming. And at the same time, I am so incredibly grateful that we managed to build a relationship through Skype, despite having an ocean between us. I sit in bliss every single time she grabs my hand, cuddles into me and whispers "Min Moster! (My Auntie!). Every single moment suddenly counts for a hundred of small moments and I grab them all frantically to make sure that they stay with me when I board the plane to go back to Connecticut. 

Moments with my family are the dearest to me. And I think, that is what Christmas is about. It is not about the presents or the erratic behaviour that comes with stressing out about all the things that we forgot to do or are supposed to be doing. It is about stopping for a second, looking around at the people who surround you and appreciate that very moment. We are all so busy rushing from one place to the other, that we forget to savour where we are right here and now.

This year I insisted on capturing family portraits of all of us, together and separately. I want to adorn my wall with the people I love, so I can see them every day and remember. I cannot wait to show them, both to you and to my family. Though that will be next time I come to Denmark. I want them to see the printed portraits. I want them to hold them, smell them and feel all the love that went into them. 

It is getting late as I am sitting here in my little house in Sweden. There are traditional Swedish Christmas lights in the windows, some of them will be going home with me. My Nisser (gnomes) that I couldn't bring with me before, are all here, reminding me of a time before the life I have now. My husband is going upstairs to bed and in a second I will join him. Tomorrow, more people that I love will arrive for an amazing Christmas lunch and I will yet again have more moments to cherish and protect. 

Merry Christmas everyone. May your heart be filled with peace and may you remember to stop for a moment and enjoy where you are, right this very moment!