Saturday, November 12, 2011


This is the weekend I open the magic Christmas cupboard and let all of my decorations tumble out. I decorate early so we can enjoy as much of the holiday season as possible. For me Christmas begins to end after the presents are opened so I start early to make it last.

Being part Norwegian, I also celebrate St. Lucia Day on December 13th. On this day the youngest girl in the family would traditionally dress in a white robe and have a wreath of greens on her head with candles. She would bring her parents coffee and sweet buns in the morning. My son has always loved the fact that we celebrate St. Lucia because he got two Christmases and an extra present. Now he appreciates his family history and we will celebrate with his little daughter for the first time this year.

The Norse use the Yule log to celebrate the winter solstice. Yule in norse means wheel. They believed the sun was a wheel of fire that rolled towards and away from the earth. The Yule log became central to the Christmas celebrations in Norwegian homes.

On Christmas Eve in Norway all work stops at 4 p.m. and everyone dresses in their nicest clothes for the celebration. A special rice pudding is served with an almond hidden inside & whoever gets the almond gets a gift usually a marzipan pig. A bowl is also left out for the barn elf so his will continue to watch over the animals instead of becoming mischievous.

Now the Christmas tree has taken the place of the Yule log as the centre of the Norwegian Christmas. The Norse figure Julesvenn was resurrected as Santa Claus. In ancient times he would arrive on Jul riding a goat and hide barley stalks around the house. Now he brings presents to good children on Christmas Eve. In the past, after Christmas Day, or Julebukk, children would dress in costume & go door to door asking for goodies. This lovely tradition is stilled carried on in some parts of Norway today.

Traditions are so important to our family history. I am proud of mine and make a point of carrying it on in my family especially at Christmas.




  1. I am also in the mood to decorate. I like to put up my tree by Thanksgiving and I usually take it down the day after Christmas, it just looks so bare without any presents. Love your Norse traditions.

  2. Oh Sue, I love this post. I agree that tradition and heritage is so important to our lives. Thank you for sharing this wonderful Norse information. I still enjoy the Scandinavian sites you shared awhile back. We are blessed to have this wonderful bloodline. Go Team Viking! And I don't mean the football team. ;-) Hugs, my friend.

  3. Beautiful post! I love your background too! Gets me in the mood!!!