3rd December

Traditional Norwegian birthday cake, either topped
with cream and strawberries as in this photograph,
or with a marzipan covering and gele decoration.
Take your pick, both
are very tasty!
Happy Birthday Little Sis! xoxox

Today used to be the day when I shared my Advent calender and always gave my sister my treat, well, it is her birthday. Now of course, we live at opposite ends of the country and that would not be practical. I always felt that Christmas could 'begin proper' after this day as her birthday celebration needed to take centre stage, it was only fair. Here is a birthday cake picture just for you Sis. It is a traditional Norwegian birthday cake, otherwise known as bløttkake. I will create a post of this fantastic cake in the New Year!

Some of the presents the children have made over the years. It
becomes a bit of a production line as between them they make
about 32 presents for Christmas!
So today my thoughts go to all those unfinished projects that I have begun and frantically need to finish before present giving day arrives. I have always been a stickler for making sure the children make their own presents for family members and have tried very hard to instill the importance of the giving rather than the commercial monetary giving that takes place. I too am sucked into wanting to buy the most appropriate thoughtful and perhaps expensive gift, but it has always been my hope that the children can also see the value in time being spent on creating something to give and the thoughtfulness behind it.

This was their Bestefar (Grandfather) favourite of presents!

This all began back in 1999, when my daughter was only 3 months old, even then, I wanted her to make her own gifts! Do you think my expectations of my children are too high and unrealistic? That first Christmas she made everyone footprint pictures and in return I made her a fleece hat and scarf. And so it started. Some years we have been very organised and have begun to think about what to make as early as September and then actually began making in the October, oh, those were civilised years. Some years were more frantic and very last minute, we did not begin present making until the end of November. A selection of things that they have made over the years include, bookmarks, key rings, bag charms, nut crackle clusters, jars of preserved blueberries, sewn purses and glass cases, snow globe ornaments, decorated photo frames Christmas decorations and painted pottery to name but a few. With the sole exception of the painted pottery where we went to a pottery cafe for the children to create their master pieces, everything was made at home. Last year however, was a breakthrough year. Both children thought about their present making without any nudging from me, and cleverly decided to join efforts and make presents together thus reducing the number they usually make. Both have always made about 16 presents each, a very time consuming business. The two of them decided to raid the log store and squirrelled themselves away in their father's workshop (a shed) and routed out many holes to make a pencil log holder, then underneath they personalised it with pyrography, Oh I was so proud. It was a real bragging moment and here I am bragging. I thought we had really turned a corner and were in a new phase of self sufficiently and sensibleness.

How wrong was I? It must be said, that I too make Christmas presents for family and friends, well if I am insisting that the children should make the effort to spend their precious time, then so should I. So back in the end of October I merrily began my present making, in front of the children, showing them as each new creation was coming to a close, with no murmur or hint from either of them about what they were to make or even a hint of beginning. Now I have decided they are old enough for me not to pester them on this issue, they know the importance of it and so as I publicly make mine, with gritted teeth at their apparent lack of starting anything, I feel a need to scream at them and say, "What about your presents, when are you going to have time to do them?" This wonderful idea seems to be like hard work at present, and instead of being the idyllic calm togetherness that I had hoped for, I can see this year it could spiral down into a frantic frenzy...

This year I have hit the presents with a vengeance and have become addicted to using 'yarn' or wool as I call it. If it can be crocheted, I'm your woman and if I can knit it, I will give it a try. I have really enjoyed myself and this year the reason behind my knitting and crocheting has to be my discovery of an on line local crafting group. This group of women have given me so much, these people whom I have never met but with whom I have formed a relationship. I never in a million years thought this would happen to me or indeed that I could be interested; I am one of those people who for years have said that too much screen work or TV is not healthy, we should be outdoors and physically meeting with people. But my goodness, the web and the people you can meet on it definitely has a place and it has taken me this long to realise. So because of this fine group of women, I have knitted snoods and hats, crocheted wrist warmers, hats and headbands and have made several Christmas decorations too this year (more on those in another post to come.) I am feeling rather pleased with myself.

Now to just sort out those children of mine...


  1. Another nice installment Selma. It is so true what you say about Nina's birthday, we never consentrated on Christmas till that day was over but then it was all stations go.

  2. That cake looks delicious.
    And it's been lovely to 'meet' you online too. I hope you'll come along to the face-to-face crochet/knit meet-up soon.

    1. Thank you! Cake is yummy. You are a true inspiration with your knitting, always eagerly await your new creations x


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