|Tomorrow is the 2. of Advent. There will just be a little more than 2 weeks left until Christmas Eve. The four weeks of Advent have always been a time of homey coziness in our family. There was baking of Christmas cookies, there was candle lights and wonderful Christmas music everywhere. There were Christmas lights in town and beautiful Christmas Lights in the store windows. And dinners served on Advent Sundays were of the most festive and delicious. Even coming to school early in the morning was a wonderful event, as there were candle bearing Advent wreaths hung up in the hallways. Those were the days when Christmas was still recognized as such and not named “Holiday Season”.
I have always enjoyed this time of the year when usually the first snow had arrived and the temps went below freezing. I have tried to re-live those traditions where ever in the world I was. It was easy in Norway, as Norway is a true winter land. I should even call it winter-wonder land, as we always had snow. It never failed. And often times when we stepped outside before going to bed we saw the Northern Lights dancing across the dark northern sky. As we were watching this greatest of natural wonders we felt so small, so insignificant. What ever worldly problems we might have had – they vanished in those moments of wonderment. We had similar winters and advent times in Cold Lake, AB. It was just a lot colder.
One year my parents had come to Norway for a visit over Christmas. We had planned to go to church on Christmas Eve as the tradition always was. We had to drive 8 km down to the next village, where they have this beautiful white church. It wasn’t very cold, just around freezing. As we approached the church, which was lit up with festive lights, it started to snow. The snow was falling in big slow flakes. There was no wind. We all stood transfixed taking in this incredible peaceful picture with the illuminated church in the snow. It was magic.
Inside, the church was heated, candles everywhere. People sat along the pews, looking around waiting for the mass to begin. There was extra Christmas music and I heard my favorite song: “Deilig er Jorden” (Beautiful is our Earth), the melody of which I later heard as a psalm sung in the Lakeland Lutheran Church of Cold Lake, AB.
The church in Isfjorden where I had my most memorable Christmas
I have certainly had many memorable Christmas celebrations, but this one in Norway stands out in my memory.
Now we are looking forward to our first Christmas on the east coast of Canada. Weather is usually much different here. Less snow, more rain and wind but not too cold. We do have a beautiful old church. It’s not Lutheran but Anglican. F.D.R. and Eleanor attended this church whenever they stayed on Campobello. But it was never in the winter. There will be a Christmas mass on Christmas Eve.
Thanks for stopping by!