Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A few of my favorite things at Christmastime

Just a few of my favorite things at Christmastime here in Oslo, in no particular logical order--but starting with gløgg, which is translated as mulled wine if you look it up online. As I've written before in an earlier post, it's really a sugar- and spice- sweetened beverage to which you can add red wine or hard liquor; I add hot water and then you have a drink to warm you up on cold winter days.




















Another popular thing to do, and which has become a tradition in our house, is to buy the special editions of the different comics series that are published at Christmastime (called juleheftene): for example, Donald Duck, Zits, Blondie, Garfield (called Pusur here) and others. It's relaxing to sit and read through them during the Christmas vacation--both for children and adults who never got past the kid stage when it comes to comics (like me). 

 





Advent wouldn't be Advent without a calendar from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, or without poinsettias to brighten up the house. This year I added a white poinsettia to the indoor garden. 

 





Oslo and the surrounding area do not really have the tradition that the USA has of decorating houses and buildings with Christmas lights and decor, but some few people do this and the results are often quite nice, as shown here. The first photo is of a house in our neighborhood where the bush in the backyard is decorated with multi-colored lights. Very pretty. The other photo is of the street decorations in Bogstadveien--also very nice. Very few streets have this type of decoration anymore; whereas when I first moved to Oslo, they could be seen all over. I miss seeing more of them. 


















And finally, there are the bird tracks in the snow on the little balcony outside our kitchen window where the birds sit each morning waiting for their ration of sunflower seeds. They make the season special with their constancy (they return each morning) and with their social instincts and curiosity.













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