A Christmas Postcard

January 10, 2018.  Happy Belated Holidays to All!  And yes, I’m quite behind schedule, not only in wishing everyone Season’s Greetings, but in keeping up with my blog.  I won’t go into all the details right now, but the last several months have been filled with a great deal of stress and sorrow, as we’ve had quite a lot on our plates.  In the midst of it all, little signs of Christmas around Oslo gave us hope, and occasionally a chuckle, so I thought I share them with you. (Click on the photos for bigger views and captions.)

POSTCARD #1:  Christmas Markets
It just wouldn’t have been Christmas if we hadn’t hit at least one holiday market.  Since our time in Oslo is winding down, we tried to squeeze in as many Julemarkeds as possible, even if only for a few minutes.  Check out scenes from some of our favorites below, and witness a bit of the action via my brief videos:  you can catch a fun folk-dancing competition between nisser (elves) here, or watch a pair of animatronic moose singing Christmas carols in English and Norwegian here (odd, but still kinda fun.)

POSTCARD #2:  Saint Lucia Day
For me, going to a St. Lucia concert is a quintessential Scandinavian holiday experience.  If you’re ever in town on December 13th, be sure to catch one — you won’t be sorry.  Watching the processional of little girls and young ladies usher in the dawn with a song is guaranteed to wring a tear from your eye.  For more about the tradition, check out my post Santa Lucia Day.  And to see a bit of this year’s concert at Oslo’s Domkirke (Cathedral), watch my video here.

POSTCARD #3:  Norwegian Holiday Finery
Nothin’ says Christmas like festive holiday attire.  For Norwegians, this means hand-knitted sweaters (even for pets), red stocking caps, sealskin booties, fur coats, and bunad (the national costume).  We decided to join in this year with our own knitting-themed Christmas card that we’ve entitled, “Awkward Family Photo, Norwegian Style.”

POSTCARD #4:  The Seasonal Street Scene
As I’ve said before, you can’t find a more elegant Christmas scene than the one offered up on the streets of Oslo.  White lights, candlelight, simple red ribbons, and greenery create a homespun yet tasteful display that’s (mostly) free of crass commercialism.  I say mostly because this year, Coca-Cola brought a fleet of trucks staffed by “Santas from Atlanta” to remind everyone what Christmas in the U.S. is all about.

Stay tuned for more about our Christmas in Oslo this year!

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