Did you have a white Christmas this year? Consider yourself lucky. Although Santa didn’t arrive at a surfboard – as he does in Australia, none of my 4 Christmas celebrations were even remotely white (or even cold). However, that didn’t stop them from being pleasant. And I hope you had a great Christmas too!
Christmas 1: NYC, USA
Mari and I are the perfect examples of lazy perfectionists that don’t give a shit about anything, but also care too much about everything. As we’re both non-religious, and Christmas is more of a sacred family tradition rather than a religious holiday, we decided that it was only appropriate to start a new tradition. As we also value non-discriminatory behavior, especially in our apartment (haha), we decided that either we don’t mix in religion, or we don’t discriminate at all. Hence, we decorated with blue, silver, gold, red, green, black and purple. Yes, we decided to celebrate Christmas and Advent, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the Winter Solstice (which is what Norwegians celebrated before becoming Lutheran). We had a delicious cup of Earl Grey tea while watching Home Alone, which was followed by the exchange of spot-on presents. I got the ugliest baby pink polaroid, which I just absolutely adore. Mari got a roommate friendly “Netflix and chill package for one” from me. Also, we lit all the candles for Hanukkah on Lucia (December 13th – only 1 day off).
Christmas 2: Oslo, Norway
This was more of a “everything you experience here is your present” kind of celebration, with non-stop consumption of pinnekjøtt (lamb ribs) and martinis. The trip included watching Star Wars (obviously) with Stormtrooper 3D glasses, pizza at Olivia, walks to the mall and roaming around the holiday market downtown a few times. We had hot chocolate on the somewhat cold days, and candy apples as it got warmer. We also went on a ferris wheel (those were invented in Pittsburgh!), where we got to see amazing views of the city. Presents were opened during the afternoon, followed by a dinner party with guests.
Christmas 3: Sola, Norway
This celebration marked that one time each year where I spend hours in the kitchen in order to try out a desperate attempt to make American junk food healthy. Or is it healthy junk food? Last year I made veggie burgers, and this year I made cauliflower pizza – which was absolutely delicious. The whole pizza was joyfully consumed and I was in awe. I might even share the recipe on the blog. Presents were opened and smiles and laughter were shared, especially as we were failing at taking next year’s Christmas picture. It must be hard having the best-looking child home once a year. Just kidding, selfie game is an art (not that I have it). 😉
Christmas 4: Stavanger, Norway
This is the one night that I so happily look forward to starting early November. This is by far the largest party, and the most time-consuming one, where the latter refers to those hours spend opening presents. Seriously, it took several hours for the presents to be distributed and opened, as in my family – it’s an important tradition that everyone pays attention to what everyone gets. But before we even start with the presents we have delicious food – every year I look forward to having ribbe (pork belly ribs), along with tasteful sides (all you Cards Against Humanity players – see where I’m going with this?). The dinner is followed by a rice pudding with either strawberry or raspberry sauce, where the main goal of eating it (despite from being dessert) is to find the one peeled almond. The one that finds the almond wins a marzipan pig (as well as a gift card in our household). When everyone’s stuffed their faces and bellies, we start attacking the presents, and by the time we’re done, it’s time to eat some more.