All of a sudden, December is nearly upon us. Light posts are wrapped in fir garlands and bows, decorative lights illuminate neighborhood windows, and there is Christmas music everywhere. In the past few years I haven’t really felt that approach of the holiday season that seems so overpowering when you’re young, but for some reason, this year it has returned full force. I am struck with a spontaneous desire to string Christmas lights everywhere, put a tree in the living room, construct garlands of paper snowflakes and bake copious amounts of gingerbread cookies. (This may be largely due to a desperate desire to procrastinate on schoolwork, but still). Since I don’t really have time to do any of these things, I have instead found some pictures of the most visually traditional Christmas I have ever experienced. Christmas 2007, the year I spent in Norway, was my first exposure to the seemingly endless Christmas traditions enthusiastically practiced by Norwegians. From very real Christmas tree hunts in the wilderness to outstanding quantities of holiday decorations, traditional meals on specific days, hours upon hours of Christmas TV shows, and impressive successions of cakes and cookies, Norwegian Christmas is unlike any other. The whole holiday is drawn out, chock full of tradition, over the period of at least a week – and that’s before the New Year.
Despite the fantastic visuals, this is not to say that I prefer Norwegian Christmas to the glories of the holidays with my family in Washington and Alaska! I am unbelievably excited to go home for the holidays. All I want is to go skiing, go skiing some more, eat king crab and paella, hang out with my grandparents, play with my cats and sleep in my bed. And go skiing.