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Things I Love About Christmas


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Decorations, especially nutcrackers and bubble lights. Wrapping presents up very pretty, then watching people rip them to shreds! My mom once tried to open one of my presents very carefully, because of how pretty it was, but I ordered her to rip it up, hehe. Cookies, love the smell of gingerbread cookies! Ugly sweaters and bell earrings. I love wearing earrings that annoy people ^_^

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I love my Grandmother's Christmas dinner.  She died several years ago now, but I still remember Chirstmas at her house. She was Swedish and my Grandfather Norwegian/Swedish.  Grandma would deck the house with traditional Swedish Christmas decorations. The dinner was amazing.  Her long table was set with about 100 candles.  We only ate by candle light.  One of the candles heated a fan that spun and made bells tinkle throughout the dinner.  The food was amazing.  It was a traditional Scandinavian immigrant Christmas dinner with Swedish meatballs, hand stuffed Korve (Swedish potato sausage), peas, mashed potatoes, cream sauce, melted butter, homemade lefse, and more.  Of course the center of it all was the Lutefisk.  My grandmother actually made good lutefisk, but it still took me about 18 years to learn to like it.  I remember us boys (my cousins and I) always sat by Grandpa and he would insist that we all eat at least a little of the Lutefisk.  He'd also ensure that we all ate everything we put on our plates. I miss my Grandpa a lot, even though it's been 20 years since he died.

 

For dessert, we'd always have rice pudding with crem (not sure how to spell it, but it was a lingon berry or raspberry syrup grandma made).  In the pudding, Grandma would hide an almond.  Whoever found the almond would get good luck that year. One of the funniest years was when no one got it and Grandma was baffled until she found the almond still on the kitchen counter.  We decided that she got the almond that year.

 

Every other year (my dad is German and doesn't want Lutefisk every year) my mom puts on the full Scandanavian Christmas spread like Grandma did, but as an adult I find it harder now to get lost in the magic of all those candles like I did as a boy.

 

Another tradition that my German grandma did was to hide a glass spider in her Christmas tree.  My sister and I would always rush to the tree, trying to be the first to find the spider.  Grandpa would always play German Christmas carols on his harmonica and Dad would often start singing, getting the rest of us going.  Speaking of singing, that was another tradition.  When we would be driving to Christmas at the grandparents, we would always sing carols.  My dad is an amazing singer and we would all sing in the car.  One song, "The Friendly Beasts" was my favorite as we each had our parts.  Mom was the donkey, I was the cow, Dad the sheep, and my sister Rory was the dove, then we would all do the last verse together. (I'm getting a little misty here.)

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Family eggnog recipe (vanilla ice cream that contains egg yolks+nutmeg+rum), Elf on the Shelf, extended family party a couple of weeks prior, Christmas crackers, National Lampoons' Christmas Vacation, Elf, Christmas lights, etc.

 

The best thing so far has been seeing my four year old enjoy the season. She is loving every minute of it.

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I love my Grandmother's Christmas dinner.  She died several years ago now, but I still remember Chirstmas at her house. She was Swedish and my Grandfather Norwegian/Swedish.  Grandma would deck the house with traditional Swedish Christmas decorations. The dinner was amazing.  Her long table was set with about 100 candles.  We only ate by candle light.  One of the candles heated a fan that spun and made bells tinkle throughout the dinner.  The food was amazing.  It was a traditional Scandinavian immigrant Christmas dinner with Swedish meatballs, hand stuffed Korve (Swedish potato sausage), peas, mashed potatoes, cream sauce, melted butter, homemade lefse, and more.  Of course the center of it all was the Lutefisk.  My grandmother actually made good lutefisk, but it still took me about 18 years to learn to like it.  I remember us boys (my cousins and I) always sat by Grandpa and he would insist that we all eat at least a little of the Lutefisk.  He'd also ensure that we all ate everything we put on our plates. I miss my Grandpa a lot, even though it's been 20 years since he died.

 

For dessert, we'd always have rice pudding with crem (not sure how to spell it, but it was a lingon berry or raspberry syrup grandma made).  In the pudding, Grandma would hide an almond.  Whoever found the almond would get good luck that year. One of the funniest years was when no one got it and Grandma was baffled until she found the almond still on the kitchen counter.  We decided that she got the almond that year.

 

Every other year (my dad is German and doesn't want Lutefisk every year) my mom puts on the full Scandanavian Christmas spread like Grandma did, but as an adult I find it harder now to get lost in the magic of all those candles like I did as a boy.

 

Another tradition that my German grandma did was to hide a glass spider in her Christmas tree.  My sister and I would always rush to the tree, trying to be the first to find the spider.  Grandpa would always play German Christmas carols on his harmonica and Dad would often start singing, getting the rest of us going.  Speaking of singing, that was another tradition.  When we would be driving to Christmas at the grandparents, we would always sing carols.  My dad is an amazing singer and we would all sing in the car.  One song, "The Friendly Beasts" was my favorite as we each had our parts.  Mom was the donkey, I was the cow, Dad the sheep, and my sister Rory was the dove, then we would all do the last verse together. (I'm getting a little misty here.)

 

 

Wow, your Christmas dinner sounds almost exactly like our Christmas dinner, although being more Norwegian than Swedish no Korve and the Lutefisk was dropped well before my time. We still do everything else including making Lefse all day on Christmas Eve (otherwise there isn't enough to go around).

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My family also makes homemade lefse on christmas eve. Although this year we made it before Thanksgiving and froze it since my folks will be visiting my sister out east who is having a baby just before christmas this year. So my brother and I are on our own (niether of us can get off work this time of year) But we will have lefse at least . So this year my wife and I are bringing lefse (and my brother) to her family's christmas dinner.

 

We don't have many other traditions other than the dinner and making lefse is actually a fairly recent one, we used to go to Grandma and grandpa's for christmas where didn't get lefse despite grandma being Norwegian. She would bake amazing rolls though. When we stopped travelling for christmas we started buying lefse from a little old lady who made it by the ton, when she stopped making it, only then did we start making it ourselves.

Edited by EvilJames
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Christmas dinner. 2nd Day brunch with my fathers side of the family.

 

Having time to sleep in and do absolutely nothing in a pleasant christmas atmosphere. That is the absolute favorite for me. Christmas treats, computer and those pawn-shop-shows on Discovery.

 

Aww, all those scandinavian Christmas foods. *gets aura of patriotism*

 

For dessert, we'd always have rice pudding with crem (not sure how to spell it, but it was a lingon berry or raspberry syrup grandma made).  In the pudding, Grandma would hide an almond.  Whoever found the almond would get good luck that year. One of the funniest years was when no one got it and Grandma was baffled until she found the almond still on the kitchen counter.  We decided that she got the almond that year.

 

"Riskrem", roughly translated to "Rice and whipped creme". Which is pretty descriptive. We make rice porrige for christmas lunch, and make lots. The porrige is then cooled and mixed with whipped creme for the christmas dinner dessert :)

 

Reading at wikipedia, it seems like English use the word "rice pudding" for both the norwegian "risgrøt" og "riskrem". That said, rice porrige probably isn't all that healty..

 

That exact situation was parodied in a nordic christmas calender show "The Julekalender"*, where the woman in question comments "we forgot the almond once. That year we ate all the riskrem!".

 

At our place we also enjoy the very Norwegian cloudberry cream ("Moltekrem") made with cloudberries picked each year at our cabin. It's really good, typically served alongside christmas cakes and with sugar. It may be extra awesome due to tradition, tho ;)

 

*Not translated. The protagonists of the show are "nisser" that has emigrated to america (due to plot), that return to the old country for an artefact. They speak an english pidgin, which the title plays on. The show is recorded in both Norwegian and Danish.

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The big glass colored strings of lights (not these new-fangled LED things)

Christmas music (especially from the 60's - the old Firestone Christmas albums especially, for those who remember)

A Christmas Story

The smell of a real tree

 

I do wish I had had a few Christmas Days growing up that were below 80 degrees though...

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@Dibbler, we do the exact same dessert but with a warm sauce made of cherries!  (Must be the Danish variant.). The first Christmas my husband spent with my family he accidentally ate the almond and almost choked on it.  His complaints of, "No really, I think I swallowed it," were met with annoyance, disbelief and many more servings eaten.  ::P:

 

One of the things I love the most about Christmas is the singing.  People sing along to songs they know and my daughter enjoys being able to burst into song without people thinking she's odd.  We keep talking about going caroling as a family, I think the little ones are almost ready.  ^_^

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I love the lights, especially at night, I could leave them up all year long. I like the older, cheerful music, but not the newer ones where they wail and moan out each syllable like a dirge. 

 

We don't have any old country family traditions.  The only thing I remember from childhood that I still do is get a can of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls for christmas morning.  :)

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