Never say to me that Christmas in on December 25. In Norway, almost everything happens on the 24th. And even if I only celebrate Christmas in Norway every 2 years, it is and will always be on the 24th for me.
Every 2 years, I spend Christmas in Gjøvik with my Uncle Jens, my aunt Trine, my cousins Inger and Christian and, obviously, my father.
The 24th of December is called Julaften and it’s a very busy day, full of traditions.This year, the weather was nice. I prefer when it snows but this is something that I don’t control! At least, it was a white Christmas anyway.
Then, we watch traditional films such as “Tre nøtter til Askepott”, a Czechoslovak/East German variation of the classical Cinderella that has been shown in Norway on Julaften since 1975!
The prize normally is a marzipan pig from Norway.
But after a trip to Sweden, my father bought a different pig and since then has been is charge to buy the prize. This year, the marzipan pig came from Nideregger i Lubeck.
Then we have a short time to change our clothes and get ready. For my part, I always wear a black dress, very original!
At 15:00, we go to the Church, Hunn Kirke. We used to drive there but it was always hectic to leave the place so since a few years, we walk.
It take approximately 15 minutes.
Today, the outside temperature was -12°C. Not super cold, but not super hot either!
At 16:00, the Christmas mass begins. Altought it’s the 2nd mass of the day, it still is pretty packed so we try to arrive early. The mass last about one hour but time goes very fast. The pastor is a very nice guy. Every year, he finds a new angle to tell the story of Jesus and make it even more interesting by painting it! He also makes some jokes that I don’t always get but that seems to be very funny according to the surrounding laughs. There is also a big screen where the lyrics are shown. I like to hear my father pretending singing when actually only me can hear him!
When we come back from the Church, we put the presents under the Christmas tree.
We eat a very traditional meal composed of pølser (sausages), kjøtkakker (literally meat cakes) and ribbe (pork ribs) with many different vegetables.
Before, when my grandfather was still alive, we used to dance and sing around the Christmas tree. I will check my archives to see if I can find a picture.
We don’t anymore.
Nowadays, my uncle distributes the presents and we wait until none is left under the tree. Then, my cousins open their presents first because they have the most.
My aunt keeps a record of who bought what for the future thank you letters and my uncle takes pictures.
This year someone rang at the door. We opened but didn’t see anyone. Julenisse was too busy and unfortunately didn’t have the time to stop but he left a hat and a bag with presents for everybody in the mailbox. My cousin Christian was the courageous one who went to the mailbox and then distributed the presents.
We all got a scratch card. I won 50 NOK.
After all the presents have been opened, it’s time for cakes again. And my aunt bakes many different types.
Merry Christmas everyone!