My Norwegean Christmas
I want to tell you about my Christmas in Norway. I’m sure it all has been mentioned before in other articles, but I want to share anyway.
I live on the west coast of Norway. Most people start thinking of Christmas in mid-November. It is time to start buying Christmas gifts for relatives and friends. The shops display Christmas things of every kind.
On December 1st, the children open their first window in their Advent calendars and will open one for each day until Christmas Eve. Usually it contains small pieces of chocolate or small plastic figures.
Traditional Christmas cakes are baked in the time before Christmas. The most common is “Julemann/ Kakemann” which is strange really, becauce it’s a tasteless cake made with pretty much no flavour. They are shaped like men, women, goats or Christmas trees.
One or two weeks before Christmas people start decorating their homes with small Santa figures or other Christmas related things. People in the cities buy their Christams trees from salesmen on the street while those who own wooded land chop their own, usually a few days before Christmas. And everybody in the family goes up to the woods to pick their tree.
On Christmas Eve the whole family gathers to decorate the tree with colorful “balls”, bells, electric lights, flags and things the kids have made at school. And then the presents are layed under the tree. The children can barely keep their fingers off.
In the morning and during the day of Christmas Eve you go to visit friends and family to deliver and collect gifts and wish them a happy Christmas. And when that is done you spend the rest of the day finishing everything and watching Disney cartoons on TV.
The Christmas dinner starts at 17.00 (5 pm). Children, parents, grand parents and maybe aunts and uncles are gathered to eat a big holiday meal; usually pork and other sorts of meat with potatoes and other accessories.
The dinner lasts for one to two hours. The adults drag the time out just to bring the children to the edge of excitment. They have to wash dishes, eat five portions of dessert and make and drink 12 cups of coffee… at least!
Then the time for opening Christmas gifts has come. If there are small children in the house, Santa comes for a visit. Strangely enough he has exactly the same watch as Dad, and what a shame Dad can’t see ’cause he is in the toilet! Santa delivers the gifts, talks to the children and then has to leave to go to other children. And just when Santa is gone, Dad comes back from the toilet. Too bad he can’t see Santa this year either. In my family we pick one in the family (one of the children usually) to read the labels and hand out the gifts. Then the person opens the gift while the others are watching. When the gift-thing is over all relax and eat more, cookies or other snacks, and play with their toys or whatever they got for Christmas.
Christmas Day is also spent with the immediate family, eating a big meal. No one visits friends before the second day of Christmas (26th). It’s an “unwritten law.”