Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Officially Christmas???

Being his father was Jehovah's Witness, my Norwegian husband has never celebrated Christmas nor have I experienced it here in Norway. Thus I don't completely have a hold on the season's traditions but here are some observations nonetheless.

Christmas is not just 1 day here. It is AT LEAST a month long.
- it starts the first Sunday in December when the first advent candle is lit
- there is a lot to get done- cleaning every nook and cranny of the house, changing the curtains and other decor because everything must be RED, baking the 7 types of cookies for Christmas dinner, building a gingerbread house, making an advent calendar for each child with a gift for each day (fun!!!), homemade pork and ham rolls, gløgg and so much more!!!

December 13
- Santa Lucia Day, only some Norwegians celebrate this while it is a must in Sweden...hey, any excuse to add light to this dark period is worth it!

December 23
- the fun begins
- this day actually has a name- Little Christmas Eve
- today many families decorate the tree (a real tree usually), they often have little Norwegian flags strung around it, and eat rice porridge (one lucky eater will get the almond and have a year of good luck), saving the leftovers for the following day

December 24
- other families decorate the tree on this day
- families gather for a big meal together consisting of steamed dried lamb ribs (pinnekjøtt), roasted fresh ham (ribbe) and rutabaga or lutefisk, dessert being the left over rice porridge whipped with cream and topped with a raspberry sauce
- in the evening gifts will be open

Dec 25 thru New Year's Eve
- Christmas continues...many people have off work so there are still Christmas dinners, parties, kid's activities, etc.
- Dec 25 is called the FIRST day of Christmas
- Dec 26 the SECOND day of Christmas

Jan 13
- you better have your lights and tree down by this day because Christmas is officially over!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My nightmare

Since I'm the early bird of Ben and I, when Ben got up with Phoenix this morning I delighted in the chance to get some extra sleep. Sleep I got but it was marred by this nightmare.

I had invited a bunch of people over. They were flying in from all over the world. I just invited them without planning out anything. It was a Saturday when they started showing up. I was nursing and suddenly I was like, Shoot! I have to get to the store before 6pm because that is when they stop selling beer here in Norway!!! The liquor store (yes, you can only buy liquor/wine at a government owned store) was already closed and wouldn't open again until Wednesday (all true). But while the store where I could purchase beer was just across the street I couldn't get there because it was so icy and I just kept being blown away from the store by the strong wind (yep, its been really icy and windy here lately). When I finally got to the store it was after 6pm so I made my way to another store to buy food but I kept going up all these staircases and could never find the area where they sold groceries. I had to hurry up and get there because the shops close early on Saturdays and nothing is open on Sundays (like in reality). Even more true to life was Ben's reaction in the dream saying, I'm not going to help you. YOU invited them! (But in reality he would save my a** and for that I am grateful!).

When I woke up from the nightmare I decided it wasn't worth going back to sleep. Too real!