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In Norway the Christmas season, Julebord, begins slowly on November 28th, the first of the four Sundays in Advent, when we light a candle. Families celebrate Little Christmas on Dec. 23, and have their own ritual for the day that may include decorating the tree, making a gingerbread house- or preparing risengrynsgrøt (hot rice pudding) for Santa. On Christmas morning, there are always stockings for the children (up to 25 years old) which are filled with sweets and hung by the fireplace – and of course we all watch Donald Duck with friends at 2 o’clock.
Benedikte says that she hates baking Christmas cakes, but loves chocolate, so together with a group of friends they meet on the second Sunday in December, usually after a late night at julebord, to make candied chocolate covered orange peel. A lot of waiting, and minimal effort, gives them time to recover from yesterday’s party – we all love that!
Everyone hopes for a white Christmas, and luckily that is not so rare in Norway!
“I think the most important thing is to make sure that no one is alone over the holidays” said Benedikte, “This year we will go to our cottage in the mountains to celebrate. On 23 December we find our tree close by and decorate it indoors. The Norwegian tradition is either pork- or lamb ribs for dinner on 24 December, which is fairly heavy. We love to go skiing to have room for more Christmas food! In our family we have an old tradition of eating shellfish on 25 December– that is my favourite! Traditions are very important. Every year we meet with friends on the fourth day of Christmas to play a game of GinRummy – the Christmas version! And – there is always lobster pasta and blue Stilton with Port on the menu.”
Hild says that 2021 has been a good year, “Business is recovering and in fine shape. We Norwegians tend to focus on the weather and staying at home, due to Covid restrictions, meant we all enjoyed a lovely hot summer. However, we all look forward to 2022 when we can again start travelling abroad again!”