We have taken fewer pictures this trip to Denmark than ever before, and NO video because our camera is on the fritz :( I guess in our stage of transition, we just haven't been that into the camera. But luckily, some of the pictures we have taken are good ones, and capture some really happy moments we've had with our Danish family. I particularly love a Danish Christmas and am grateful that Farmor and Hans went so far out of their way to put on a "full show" for our sake this past weekend. Kristoffer's brother and his family came to visit and we celebrated just as if it was December 24th.
Leading up to our Christmas weekend, Noah was spending a lot of time with his best buddy Hans, who has helped him get even closer to walking - now only holding one hand!
On Friday morning to prepare for Christmas, Grace helped Far and Farmor decorate the Christmas tree. Let's just say that the bottom half of Farmor's tree is highly decorated this year :)
That afternoon, Farmor got tickets for us to take Grace to see her first live show put on by the library. It was a "Cirkeline Christmas" (Cirkeline is a Danish cartoon character that Grace knows and loves) and was very sweet. On our way out Grace got to shake hands with one of the characters, Frederick (a mouse).
After the show we went home in time for everyone else to arrive. Noah continued his fascination with Danish beer, and both of our kids loved, loved, loved playing with their cousins for a few hours!
Uncle Rasmus was also a popular guy :)
Then came a delicious Christmas dinner...
While we waited for the Christmas tree to be lit after dinner - yes, in Denmark a tree is lit by candles, not electric lights! - Grace showed everyone how a Kenyan Simba ROARS...
Then the tree was a glow and we danced around singing Christmas songs. I always find this to be a beautiful and emotional tradition, and I loved watching Grace around the tree with her cousins.
We gave out our gifts and also received lovely, generous gifts, Grace's favorite of which were some Cars Legos from Farmor and Hans (note: Grace has never seen the Cars movies and doesn't even know they exist...she is just really into Cars!).
After gifts - yes, there's more! - we played "Pakkeleg" (pronounced pack-a-lie), which is also one of my favorite Danish Christmas traditions. There are a bunch of Christmas presents (a mix for all ages and lots of funny ones too) in the middle of the table and everyone takes turns rolling a dice. If you roll a 6, you get to pick a gift. When all the gifts are gone, you play for another 10 minutes and can "steal" gifts from other people. Then everyone opens up their surprise gifts (and can swap if they want). This year, our family sponsored "Pakkaleg" and it was really fun!
It was such a wonderful night and we loved spending time with Kristoffer's brother's family; the fun continued the next morning when Noah was awake to open his gifts.
We bustled off to Kristoffer's uncle's house on Saturday for his 60th birthday party. It was great to see his grandmother, uncle and aunt, and his cousins and their kids. We tried to get a picture of Oldemor with her 8 great-grandchildren. THAT was not easy, but you get the idea...
We have had a lovely month in Denmark (wow! where did that month go?!) and fly to Boston on Wednesday morning for the American leg of our life in transition. An American Christmas and hopefully playing in the snow are on the agenda, as well as visits to Ohio and Maryland.
Please wish us an easier journey to the US than the one we had to Denmark from Kenya. And stay tuned for our next Christmas updates!