Today was no different from any other day this week. A little insanity before the holiday. I had some unexpected errands to run, along with cleaning the house I’ve ignored the last two weeks. And it needed to be fairly clean by 7, when my friend Erin would be dropping off her two kids for a few hours so she and her husband could make a quick appearance at a party.
Right as I was running around, cleaning up from dinner, I got a call from my sister Maiken. She wanted to tell me that I needed to open my Christmas gift early – as in now. I promised her I would as soon as I finished cleaning. So I did.
Inside the pretty blue paper I found quite possibly the most adorable decoration I’ve ever seen. A tiny (not quite 3 inches) Swedish candle tree.
I love it so much, and as if that wasn’t enough, I received a package today from my aunt Elaine. I couldn’t imagine what she could be sending me so I opened it with zero expectations. The second I unwrapped the top piece and realized what it was – I couldn’t help myself – my eyes welled up with tears. It was an exact replica of the larger Swedish candle tree that my grandparents always had out during the holiday season. My dad had made some for my mom’s siblings when I was a kid and I have always wanted one.
I sent a text message to my mom to make sure I could talk about it online – I wasn’t sure if they were a surprise for my generation, to be handed out on Christmas Eve (when our family has their big Swedish celebration dinner). She assured me it was not and also said, “I painted the trunk on yours, Maiken or Kari did the green, Elaine did the candle cups, her friend Leslie the swoops and the tree is made from wood Dad brought home from the dump – Merry Christmas!”
I had no idea. And of course I started crying again – and laughing, because of all the things my dad has brought back from the dump, this is certainly the only item I can say I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.