God Jul, Happy Christmas

Fairytale of New York belted out by Shane McGowan and Kristy MacColl, at least 5 times, on a loop preferably. It’s a must for any Christmas Eve, evoking the good, the romantic and the plain old annoyance that the stress of Christmas brings sometimes. It has it all. My husband going a bit green at the gills listening to it as it never fails to transport him back to his Dublin days when the song was a huge hit and he could never escape from it, every shop, every bar, every radio station, every drunk person singing it. That sounds like a great version of earth to me but there is no accounting for song trauma, is there.

It’s Christmas Eve in Oslo, or julaften.  I love Christmas, the sense of celebration, slowing down, a bit of contemplation, eating, drinking, spending far too much time together and of course, the giving and receiving of gifts is also a bit life-affirming.  It’s cold, it’s fresh, it’s 5C and there is no snow. Like everywhere, the climate has changed here and the locals will tell you that up to a few years back the winter snow came in October or November and stayed for months.  Enduring Christmas snowfall hasn’t come as far south as Oslo in the last few years but it is still reliably falling further north. It’s all good, things haven’t changed that utterly.

The kids are up and glued to Christmas TV, singing along to Norwegian songs that I don’t know yet. My husband is on his last few conference calls before wrapping it up before Christmas.

Most shops are open for a few hours today and then closed until Monday. So there is a slight burden to make sure we have enough food until Monday because ’tis the season for building fat reserves, not for depleting them after all.  That comes with much effort in January. Off we go shortly with the list and some presents to deliver this morning.  Then we get all glammed up and go to friends in the late afternoon for a Norwegian Christmas meal and song and general warmth, the whole works.  Life is great and I feel very fortunate.

Have a great Christmas wherever you are and see you again soon.

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