Oh Christmas Tree

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.

slow down, this night is a perfect shade of...

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.

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87 thoughts on “Oh Christmas Tree

  1. First off, your photos are beautiful. :)

    Secondly, I thought we Canadians did Christmas pretty well, but it sounds like the Norwegians do it SO much better! Now I’d like to go there some year during Christmas just to experience it!

    Very sweet post and Congratulations on Being Freshly Pressed! Now, go home, play with your cats, and sleep in your bed…that sounds like a pretty good Christmas too. ;)

  2. OK, you’ve done it – I’m in the mood for Christmas and all the trappings thereof. Superb photos for the season advancing rapidly towards us; they look full of fun and warmth (even the snow). I guess you want to go skiing? Have I got that right???

  3. Lovely photos of a warm happy season of love! Thanks for reminding me of my own Swedish heritage and the joys of the season, even before New Year’s! Enjoy your bed, your cats and of course, the skiing! Merry Christmas! Congrats on FP!

  4. Wow! these are visually stimulating – amazing photos. I’m glad they “Freshly Pressed” you so that I could partake in the beauty of your blog.

  5. Wonderful and warm photographs of a christmas i have long since believed would ever exist…….maybe i was wrong. I liked what you said at the beginning of your post…….maybe there is something about the state of the world at this moment that makes us reflect on some more traditional values…maybe ‘festiveness’ is a phase we go through now and again. Maybe i will get the tree out this year…. thank you.

  6. Usually I’m part of the group that rolls their eyes when people start hauling out their decorations in mid-November. But this year I’m itching to decorate as soon as possible! I don’t know what’s happening! :D I’ guess I can hold out until December…
    Congrats!

  7. Beautiful pictures and perfect for the start of the festive period! :) Thanks for sharing such lovely photos and memories, and congrats on being freshly pressed!

  8. I can actually feel my chest tighten in anticipation and happiness when I look at these photos (erm, well, it’s either that or I have angina…)

    Either way, this was a beautiful post!

  9. I haven’t really gotten into the Christmas spirit yet, but your pictures are definitely inspiring me in that direction. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Terrific photo-story. you’ve accomplished great photos and a warm inviting Christmas story too. I live in Colorado part-time, we ski here a lot. You should try it sometime.

  11. Those are some incredibly beautiful pictures! Just another reminder as to why I love Christmas and its traditions so much.

  12. Christmas is my favorite holiday. Your post confirmed how beautiful and festive this event is. Normally, I would start the Christmas journey after Thanksgiving but I got side tracked. Thanks for reminding me. Have a wonderful holidays ahead.

  13. Skiing!!! You just made me miss that! I wish I can make elaborate plans for Christmas this year, like go skiing, make paper snowflakes, and bake some fresh cookies and brownies, but school’s totally stopping me from doing so. Nevertheless, I guess all I want for Christmas is to spend time with my family and to wish everyone else all the joy in the world.

  14. These pictures were beautiful! Unfortunately, when I go home back to Italy, we don’t have such a traditional Christmas. I find it interesting to see how different cultures around the world celebrate occasions. You could say it gives you a new perspective on the entire festive season.

    Ashley

  15. Great pictures :) I love those candles and the snow and the christmas tree. I will start to decor my house together with my kids on next week onwards. We make our own Christmas tree ornaments :)

  16. Pingback: Norwegian Christmas is contageous « Uggclogs' Blog

  17. Pingback: Holiday Lights « Thirdhandart's Weblog

  18. Such a wonderful post. Your pictures are sublime. I have always loved the Christmas season. Good job! I’m following you now. :)

  19. I like the car! We had one like that once. She was so old, someone gave her to us for free, but then my husband up bid him and it ended up costing us £100! Anyway, we loved her. We called her the Old Lady She was so comfortable it was like driving around on a sofa.
    Your pictures are all really beautiful! and heartfelt Thankyou!

  20. Beautiful pictures. That one of the window really caught my eye and I looked at it for quite a bit. I love all the little details. Felt the Christmas spirit the minute I saw it.

  21. Beautiful pictures! I loved the one where someone was constructing the ginger bread house! One of my favourite things to do during christmas! I am smitten with the decorations that coincide with this wonderful holiday, especially the traditional Christmas tree!! Great Christmas-esque post :). PS: I love to procrastinate too haha!

  22. I was looking for the end of the comments to ask a question when it dawned on me that you were most likely freshly pressed… so congrats on that. And amazing photos as always.

    Anyways, it’s funny you should mention skiing because as soon as I saw the second photo from the top that is exactly what I was thinking about. It brought back delightful memories of skinning, post-holing, and snow climbing– all followed by me “skiing,” (i.e. me being terrified I was in over my head while somehow managing to get down the mountain without breaking any bones or having to use my beacon, probe, or shovel).

    I was wondering though, do you know the name of any of those mountains in that second picture from the top?

    And have a great time skiing. It is hard to find something better to do. Cheers.

  23. My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different website and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to going over your web page for a second time.

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