Yule Goat.

Snow boots. A hooded winter coat. Gloves. Leggings and jeans. Wool sweaters. Layering tops. Christmas gifts. My trusted carry-on refuses to collaborate. It will not close. And don’t dare to sit on it. I give up and go to fetch my large suitcase. The Florida girl is going to Sweden.

I feel emotional. Browsing my photo libraries for pictures of Christmases past. I travel back in time. All the way to our son’s very first Christmas. He’s crawling under the lower branches of our live Christmas tree. Mesmerized by the lights and the sparkling tinsel garland. It’s Christmas in Stockholm.

MJ first ChristmasOur home is filled with seasonal aromas. Ham and rutabagas, potato, carrot and macaroni casseroles. Meatballs and spicy sausages. Jansson’s Temptation and herring salad. I’m in the kitchen cooking traditional Christmas dishes for my little family. Husband and son play in the living room. The camera clicks.

Christmas foodsSnow. I taste the word. Cold. Fluffy. Beautiful. And again I’m back in Stockholm. Playing in the snow with my son. Husband taking pictures. Those precious moments frozen in time.

Mom and son StockholmAnd soon I will be there again. Same city, different time. Christmas. Hopefully white. Long walks with my sister’s family and their poodle. Beautifully decorated streets and shop windows. Delicious traditional dishes. Christmas market in the historic Old Town.

I look at the old yule goat on my dining table. Its yellow straws and red ribbons are still fairly intact, after faithfully standing on whatever table it decided to jump onto for over 30 years. Every Christmas, on three different continents. It asks me if I remember. I nod.

yule oat 2It is a crisp, snowy December evening. The Old Town is wrapped in Christmas spirit. Seasonal music streams from the market stalls. Warm glögg and lussekatter. Husband stops at a stall and the yule goat becomes part of the family. Life is good.

Now silently conversing with the yule goat Love wraps me in a warm blanket. So much to be grateful for. I wish you all a wonderful, soul-warming Christmas and a happy holiday season. Feel the spirit.

70 thoughts on “Yule Goat.”

  1. Love your yule goat. We have a few decorations that have withstood time that still grace our tables and shelves. It doesn’t seem like Christmas without them being displayed. 🙂

    I feel the spirit with you too, Helen. May God fill your heart with wonderful memories during the holidays. Have a safe trip. Does Dylan get to go? I hope so! 🙂

    1. That little goat is priceless 🙂 I was planning to travel with Dylan, he would have enjoyed the company of his ‘cousin’, but then I found out that on 2 flights (out of 6), he would have to travel in the cargo hole. That’s a no-no for me, so he will be staying at his “reserve mom’s” house and playing with his two buddies. We both wish you & yours a blessed Holiday Season.

  2. What a beautiful heartfelt post Helen. I was transported to Sweden and snowy weather with you or maybe back to my childhood when we had snow too. I’m glad you have your family, yule goat, and loving spirit to keep you warm. Holiday hugs and blessings…

        1. I wish he could come with me, and I was planning for that. Then discovered that on two of my 6 flights he could not be in the cabin with me, but would be put into the cargo department. A complete no-no. He’ll be at his “reserve mom’s” house with two friends to play with. I’ll miss him, but he’ll be fine there…usually sends me text messages every day 🙂

  3. Your post goes right to the heart, Helen. ❤ I have a Yule goat like that too. 🙂
    Hope you have a wonderful time with your family in beautiful Stockholm. The first Christmas alone is a bigh hurdle, you 'll make it. Have a safe trip, dear and Happy Holidays.
    Warm greetings from Cley, xxxx

    1. Thank you, Dina. I am so looking forward to celebrating Christmas in Stockholm with my sister’s family…it’s been a long time. Hoping for a snow flurry or two 🙂 I could not even think of staying here this year, but this way I can celebrate a “second Christmas” (as my granddaughter put it) with my son’s family here on the beach before New Year. Dylan and I wish you all a beautiful Christmas! XXX

  4. Thank you for sharing your precious Christmas moments with us. May your sweet memories warm your hart.
    Enjoy the beautiful snow scenery in Stockholm. Have a safe trip, dear Helen.

    1. Thank you, Amy! My sister just told me all the snow they got last week has melted …but it will be cold so I hope to see some snow while I am there. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  5. Lovely, very enjoyable post – as usual! Thank you for sharing.h&g&;
    We wish you a blessed and Merry Christmas! I hope you have a wonderful blessed trip to Sweden!

  6. What a beautiful post Helen and photos. You make me homesick. I know Gamla Stan in Stockholm but haven’t been there in winter. A Gothenburg girl myself. I know our traditions though and am keeping them here in England with Christmas Eve, pepparkakor and all the goodies.
    Have a wonderful Christmas ⛄️🎁

    1. Thank you Miriam. It’s lovely that we can keep our traditions wherever we live on earth. I’ve been eating pepparkakor for two weeks already. My sister just promised we’ll go to the Christmas market i gamla stan 🙂 They have no snow now (it melted) but I am hoping to see some! God Jul!

  7. The goat is adorable…and you and your son have the most perfect features! So much beauty! Wishing you a Happy Christmas with your sister’s family surrounded in love…

    1. I agree, Cyndi…that goat is precious 🙂 It’s amazing how clearly I remember that day playing in the snow with our son, still feel the biting cold on my cheeks despite a sunny afternoon. I so look forward to celebrating Christmas with my sister & family…it’s been 11 years since we were together for the holidays. I wish you & yours a Christmas filled with peace and love.

    1. Tank you Karen for this and all the other beautiful comments tis year. I am truly looking forward to two (!) Christmas celebrations this year, one in Sweden with my sister’s family and another here at my home with the grandies starting when I’ll be back on the 27th 🙂 Have a wonderful holiday season ❤

  8. Such wonderful memories make your yule goat even cooler. May your time in Sweden offer you peace over the Christmas chaos. Safe travels and happy new year!💗

    1. Thank you for your beautiful comment, Joanne. Yes, he is a cool-headed goat. A survivor. He has been everywhere we have celebrated Christmas and he’s still going strong. Merry Christmas and Happy 2018 to you and your family!

  9. How nice! We wish you a Happy Holiday in Sweden. Enjoy you family and friends. Have our love from Lucy, Tyler and I. 🙂

    1. Thank you dear friend. I am so looking forward to my first Christmas with my sister & family in 11 years! Dylan and I wish you, Lucy and Tyler a peaceful, beautiful Christmas ❤

  10. Tears fill my eyes, my dear Helen. Christmas cheer has a soul deep perspective this year for many reasons. The ‘yule goat’ conveys this connection.
    One thing I know, dear Helen. Your life will be strong in the years to come. Why? Because you will make it so.
    Have a wonderful reunion with your family members. I will be thinking of you, laughing, crying and enjoying life! ❤

    1. Dear Carolyn – I am sorry I didn’t see your wonderful comment earlier. It came when I was packing my car to get to the airport for my early flight. As you already know my holiday “at home” was everything I could ever have hoped for. Still a warm and fuzzy feeling lingering in my heart. Thank you for your frienship ❤

  11. A beautiful warmhearted pre-Christmas story Tiny. We do pray you have a wonderful Christmas with family in Sweden, and that it will be part of the healing for you. The yule goat is an interesting custom, I have not seen before. I hope Dylan does not miss you too much, and that he enjoys being with his friends. The salt march will hopefully be in Christmas holiday mode and the Mayer will be keeping festivities in order. Richest Blessings my friend for Christmas and the New year.

    1. Thank you my dear friend and sorry for the tardy response! As you know all prayers were answered and I had a wonderful Christmas celebration. I have noticed that the Osprey couple have now come together at the nest for the 2018 nesting season! Will try to get an update on them fairly soon 🙂

  12. Tiny, your wonderful post has me tearing up…so much here that is my Christmas too…the baking, love of the snow, the snow goat – although mine is a big one by the tree and Jultomte. Wishing you a time of warmth and love in Stockholm and for this Christmas. God Jul, min Vän. xx❤️

    1. Thank you Annika and sorry for the very late response. As you know, I got all could wish for at Christmas. God fortsättning på det nya året! ❤

    1. Thank you Kathy and sorry for the very late response. My trip was hear-warming and upon return I celebrated a “second Christmas” with my grandies here at home.

  13. Dear Aulikki! In Finland we celebrate your name today: grattis på namnsdag🌹🌹🌹 Have a nice Christmas in Stockholm: greetings to Anneli and the family. All the best ! Puss och kram ❤🐩🎄🎅Anja & Hertta

    1. Dear Anja! So sorry I didn’t see these comments in time…but as you know my visit to Stockholm was wonderful. I hope you had a good time as well. Many hugs ❤ ❤ Dylan sends kisses to Hertta!

    1. Thank you Susan! And sorry for the late response…got very busy with grandies and a “second Christmas” (as my 7 year old granddaughter put it ) when I returned from Stockholm. It was a wonderful, heart-warming Christmas…or two! I hope your holidays with family were wonderful. Happy 2018!

  14. Dearest Helen I was smiling at your description of trying to travel with carry on in winter. Short of looking like a pillsbury dough girl on the plane and having heat exhaustion it’s tough to do. Sending warm wishes for this season and sending hugs across the miles. xo

    1. Thank you Sue – and sorry for the tardy response. I smiled at the Pillsbury dough girl image … had I not had a “packable” buffer coat, that would have been me 🙂

    1. Thank you, dear Sylvia! Sorry I didn’t see your comment in Sweden as I spent every moment with my family and friends there…the time was far too short 🙂 I hope your holiday season was wonderful. I wish you best of health and lots of love in 2018! XXX

  15. You celebrated the Feast of Juul with your well treasured memories. Hope the burning of the Yule log on the hearth keeps your heart warm during your holidays there.Have a Joyful & Peaceful Christmas,my Florida girl ❤ xxx

    1. Thank you for your good wishes, dear Doda! And sorry for the late response. I am back home in Florida now and can honestly say this Christmas with family and friends in Stockholm was wonderful – so heart-warming. I hope your holidays were beautiful and I wish you all the best in 2018 ❤ XXX

  16. Dearest Helen, I found this so very moving. Your courage and strength to love and embrace the beauties of life, even during this tender and difficult time, inspire and guide me. Wishing you comfort this holiday season, and a new year of renewed good times.

    1. Thank you for your beautiful comment and wishes, Jet! And sorry for the late response. This holiday season was so much better in every way than I had dared to hope.

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