Food + Drink + Friends + Family

Happy Christmas.

Christmas 1975. I’m the little one.

In a mere 12 hours I will be with everyone in this photo, sharing glögg and my mother’s meatballs and my brother’s gingerbread cake. My sisters will have their children with them, and Christmas will feel like Christmas for a little while.

My presents are wrapped (just a few packages; nearly everything I give is baked or in the form of charitable donations). This year, I saved the pages from my Stendig calender all year long and used them as wrapping paper. I think I’ll do the same thing next year. (Which reminds me…I need to buy a new calender for 2009!)

The cookies are finally, finally done. This year I made chocolate-dipped shortbread fingers, lemon-poppy seed glazed balls, espresso shortbread, sugar pretzels, and jam thumbprints. Phew! Somehow, I managed to do this in addition to making great progress in my end-of-year renovation marathon. I do occasionally manage to impress myself and go to bed not feeling like a miserable failure, and this is one of those times.

Tomorrow morning I’ll prepare Janssons frestelse (my third year running!), pack everything up in the car, and we’ll head off to my mother’s house. Everything feels complete this time of year. I love that.

Happy Christmas to you!

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  • Reply Benita December 25, 2008 at 2:41 am

    Happy Christmas, Anna and Evan!

    We’re having Jansson’s today too 🙂
    Love the calendar wrap. So you.

    Ps. You were one cute baby!

  • Reply sedax December 25, 2008 at 8:03 am

    Just an amazing site!

  • Reply josh December 25, 2008 at 11:31 am

    LOVE the calendar wrapping paper!

    this year, my mother made jelly cookies similar to those (in addition to about 10 other kinds). mmmm so good.

    and glögggggggg. my family isn’t swedish, but i love that crap!

    merry christmas!

  • Reply Emily December 25, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Happy Christmas! I love the way you used the calendar to wrap gifts and your cookie array is very impressive. I hope your holidays are wonderful and that you have a very merry Christmas.

  • Reply Adam December 25, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Happy Christmas Anna, Evan, Bruno & Fritz! Much love to all of you!

  • Reply Thessa December 25, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Merry Christmas Anna, Evan and the little four legs!

  • Reply Andrea December 25, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Love the ’70s hair and clothes. Hope your Christmas was a merry one!

  • Reply Caity December 26, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Aw, those cookies look amazing! Merry Christmas!

  • Reply Vanessa December 26, 2008 at 7:45 am

    Your Christmas sounds so much like mine! I take it you’re a fellow Swede? Who else would make a Janssons?

  • Reply rachel best December 26, 2008 at 9:25 am

    calendar wrapping = awesome!

  • Reply Cherisse December 26, 2008 at 10:11 am

    One of my very good friends is from Sweden! I will ask her about that dish…and how come she never made it for us when we were room mates in the Dominican Republic

  • Reply Yamila December 26, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Yes you all look great.
    I can’t believe you are 33 and look 20 something. i am 34 and think I need eye cream too!
    Love your photos and your blog!

  • Reply anne December 27, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Happy Belated Christmas! Love that you used the calendar for the paper – so cool!

  • Reply Amanda December 30, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    LOVEEE your wrapping paper!

  • Reply Ryan Gray December 31, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    I’m curious how you guys do the charitable-donation-as-a-gift thing. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a few years now too but haven’t really been able to think of a good protocol for actually doing it.

  • Reply kerry December 31, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Yummmm Do you have a recipe you would like to share for the lemon poppy seed balls? They look scrumptulescent!

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 2, 2009 at 2:07 am

    Ryan Gray: We’ve been doing the charitable-donation-as-a-gift thing for several years now, and we’ve done it a few different ways. This year, we donated to specific organizations (Oxfam & the Animal Medical Center in NYC) on behalf of individuals. For families, we gave certificates to JustGive in hope that parents will sit down with their kids and decide as a family what group the money should be donated to. I think it’s really important for kids to learn about charitable giving at a very young age, and participating in the process is a great way to get them excited about doing something at Christmas that doesn’t involve “stuff”.

    kerry: The lemon-poppy seed balls were DELICIOUS! The recipe is here. Enjoy! 🙂

  • Reply Sarah January 2, 2009 at 6:27 am

    Oh these look amazing, do you have a good recipe for the thumbprint cookies? I can’t ever seem to get them right..also sugar pretzels sound gorgeous!

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 2, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Sarah: You’re in luck! The thumbprint cookies and the sugar pretzels have the same basic cookie base, so you can make both of them at the same time. They came out great — I’ll definitely be using this basic recipe next year and trying different variations. 🙂

    All-in-One Cookie Dough
    Thumbprint variation
    Pretzel variation

  • Reply Sarah January 2, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Yay! Thanks so much this is great, I can’t wait to try them out – thank you!

  • Reply Aaron January 6, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Ha, I also saved all of my Stendig 2008 pages for wrapping paper. Only difference is, I totally forgot to actually use it.

  • Reply jfork January 6, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Wow! Those cookies are inspiring! This Christmas I made biscotti for my family and friends – Now, I know what I’m going to make next year!!

    —-Love Love LOVE your blog, by the way! What a gem. I’ve already bookmarked you.—-

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