First of all, if you haven’t already figured it out, I’m Norwegian, so (duh) my traditions vary enormously from what you Americans call Christmas. No offense. I love me some fat jolly Santa just as the next person. OK, here it goes. We open our presents on Christmas Eve! That’s right! We’re all dressed in our gayest gear and eat dinner precisely at 5 pm, because that’s when the church bells declare it is at last the holy hour of Christmas.
But before then it’s a tradition to sit in your PJs eating candy watching:
OMG. This is the ULTIMATE Christmas flick, just ask any girl born in the 80’s or later. It’s a Czech movie originally titled ” Tri orísky pro Popelku“, which is dubbed in Norwegian by an old man so all the kids can understand it. It’s basically a “modern” (how modern is 1973, anyways?) take on Cinderella, where the protagonist finds three nuts, which each will fulfill her wishes. Needless to say, it has a happy ending where her prince whisks her away on a horse. Awwwww.
And so, after too much candy and TV, we clean up and don our festive clothes. No jeans or crocs allowed, shame on you.
In my family, this is what we eat:
When we enter the house and face this smell, we all shed a tear, because it is, after all, Christmas once again. Yumm!
After about three hours of eating, drinking, discussing, shouting, taking pictures and making sure the cats don’t tear down the trees, the “grown-ups” do the dishes while the children impatiently wait for the big event – to open the presents! After we serve coffee and cake (and some brandy, cough, cough) we open the gifts, one by one, to endless “aaaws” and “oohs”. This usually lasts way into the a.m, but it’s so worth it and I love it. I wish I could be home this Christmas because I have been away for too many, but next year, my dear family, I will be there. With bells on!