So this week I am going to make up for my lame past few weeks. 🙂 I am going to tell you about Christmas here in Denmark!
Beginning den 1 December, the decorations are up and lit. the gågade is covered in lights and pine and the Christmas market is up and all hyggeligt. Although the air is filled with Christmas cheer and magic, the traditions are what really get me.
The first thing is the fact that the Danes have 3 Christmas days. Juleaften (24th), Første Juledag (25th), og Anden Juledag (26th). But their BIG celebration, and the day that is actually Christmas for them, is the 24th.
The second thing is the Christmas tree. The Christmas trees here are decorated in burning candles, songs, nissemænd, angels, hyrdestokkene (candycanes) and julehjerter (Christmas hearts). Everything has a special symbolic meaning. And then you might ask, “Oh wise Sister Williams, why do they have SONGS on the tree? What is the meaning behind that?” Well, let me tell you, folks. Because everyone holds hands, and dances around the Christmas trees with these songs. You then run around the house in a glorious christmas train of singing and joy and you run through every room and end up back around the Christmas tree. We do indeed sing and dance as they do in Whoville. After they have danced around the tree, Santa comes and hears them singing and comes in and delivers the presents. They then open their presents and go to bed. The other two days are just chilling with family and friends.
We also eat a HUGE dinner of fleskesteg, rødkål (red beets cooked in vinegar and sugar), bread, chips, brown sauce, sugared potatoes, potatoes, basically anything that could make your heart stop in one sitting. We then follow it up with Ris ala mande, which is rice pudding with chopped up almonds in it served with a topping of warm cherry sauce. There is one whole almond in the entire batch, and whoever gets it gets a special present.
The hearts of the people here in Denmark turn to Christ on Christmas, and they all have special church services on the 24th, even us! Everyone is super open and happy and just really nice at this time of year.
Christmas time is such a special time here in Denmark. There really is no better place I would rather be than here in the land of fairytales for this wonderful time of year.
I am going to end off with a challenge to you all. Earlier this year, I asked you all to study the last week of Christ’s life for Easter. Today, I am going to do a simillar thing. I invite you all to take one of the gospels and study the coming of Christ. Think about why this time is so special and take to heart a story of the baby Jesus.
Glæde Jul og Godt Nytår