Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Our Norwegian Christmas Eve

 

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Since we couldn’t all get together on the 24th, we had our Christmas Eve, complete with Norwegian dinner (lutefisk, lefse, gjost, lingonberries, etc.), yesterday.

It was a grey day, with the remains of Sunday’s freezing rain on the roads, but we made it in safely, with presents, lefse and Spike in the back seat.

In the morning I asked Spike if he wanted to get “puffed up” - he rushed right over – even though he doesn’t particularly like being brushed. He knew something was up! He loves going to Gramma and Papa’s house, and especially loves the kids.

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Carm and Graham left almost right away for Princess Auto – a mecca for those loving tools and other boring stuff – Carm was looking for a new snow shovel. While they were gone, Dad made waffles, Mom and I (mostly Mom) started to get things ready for supper.

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Finally we were all together, gathered around the Christmas tree, to open our gifts. We had lots of laughs, especially over the gift I got Carm. I thought I was being all clever when I got him a book of Canadian Statistics, for what I thought was 2012. Dooh! The stats are all from 1906!!! Slightly interesting in passing, but not at all what I had in mind. Needless to say we all had a pretty good laugh over such a stunned gift (who would want a giant book from 1906?). Carm got me a book “Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing”, it will be like being back in school, only better.

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We even got to spend a little time with Olaf, Tammy & Freya in NZ. The miracle of Skype brought them right into the kitchen for a visit. Too bad Kirsten and her family weren’t there as well.

In years past, the whole family used to gather Christmas Eve and morning. As people got married and started having kids it turned into a wonderful hub-bub of love and laughter. Then Kirsten, et. al. moved to NZ, followed a few years later by Olaf & Tammy. Other family changes have left us with just a few – still fun, but not the same. I miss those old days of togetherness, and I imagine my parents miss it even more.

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Then supper! YUM. To say that I over-ate would be a huge understatement. I loaded my plate with lefse, topped with lutefisk, gjost, and little bacon bits. Pickled herring, and red cabbage with caraway were on the side. Oh my it was delicious, perhaps more so as it was so outside the bounds of what I normally eat.  Ah! It truly was Christmas Eve.

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It was late (past 8:30) when we got home. Bella and Kabira were frantic with the need to get outside, hunger, and joy that we hadn’t left them forever. Kabira raced up and down the laneway, pausing only to poke us with her nose. She gets a little crazy sometimes.

And with that, the day was done.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!
~ By Clement Clarke Moore

 

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