Merry Christmas to all! Or god jul, as they say here. I am home for the holidays, enjoying a Norwegian Christmas on the family farm. No snow yet, but very hyggelig, with candles, clementines, cooking and knitting and lots of relatives, with endless cups of coffee. We have decorated the tree, wrapped presents, and today is lille julaften, little Christmas Eve, the “day before the day”. Christmas Eve is our main day of celebration. Rice porridge for lunch, with a hidden blanched almond: whoever finds that, wins the marzipan pig. Presents are opened after dinner. What dinner is varies by geography and taste: pork, lamb or mutton ribs, salt cod. Here, it will be roast pork, with sauerkraut, mushy peas and potatoes. It is all very, very traditional.
Nisser, like Christmas elves.
It is just lovely to see parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles. Still, having been abroad for years, it is always a little strange coming back and realising how home is neither here or there, but several places. Being slightly foreign in what was your own country is always a tad disconcerting; the reverse culture shock still surprises me. The topical jokes that I miss, the nuances of politics, small family updates that never made it to email. Still, it is a privilege to be able to share another Christmas with everyone, and I am very grateful for that.
Wishing you all a very god jul, Merry Christmas wherever you are! Thanks so much for sharing your stories, recipes and generosity this year. I really appreciate it.