I’ve been reading through this book and am just loving learning all the traditions the Norwegians in my family’s past likely celebrated at Christmastime, both in the old country and new.
Thank you Norway for lefse! Alia joined our prep-team this year.
It was wonderful learning the origins of some of the customs my family still practices, and some that were totally new to me.
Did you know that in years past, “Christmas cleaning” was a tradition in Norway? They would scour the house from top to bottom so it was spotless for the Christmas celebration, which was especially wonderful in the days of wood burning stoves and pre-running water, when this was one of the few times in the year that the house was really completely clean.
I’ve always felt a desire for my house to be meticulously clean for Christmas, but thought it was kind of an OCD-perfectionist thing. I told Landon now I’m just going to embrace it, say it’s in my DNA passed down from my ancestors, and call it a tradition. Christmas cleaning, I like it 🙂
The “Christmas bath” was another new one, that the families heated a big tub of water and fill it with cranberries and juniper, for an especially festive way to get everyone clean for the holiday. I told Kaden about it and he thought it sounded pretty fun, we may have to get some cranberries so he can have a Christmas bath this year.
This was my first year making krumkakes! The book says they’re the oldest of the sju slags, or “seven Christmas cookies” traditional in Norway, that krumkake irons made by blacksmiths have been found dating back to at least the 1700’s .
Julebukking sounds hilarious, I can hardly imagine all the pioneer farmers in Wilmington going from house to house dressed in ridiculous costumes, but I know from this source that they did, and I suppose it was a pretty fun time. So many more details, from the foods of their Christmas feast, the origins of the Nisse, and even the source of the word “Yule” or “Yuletide” (which comes from the old Viking word Jól, their winter celebration) were so interesting and fun to read.