Friday, December 19, 2008


I am in a nostalgic mood this Advent.
Perhaps am I also somewhat sentimental, generally speaking.
I know for sure it's the good times giving us strength to cope with the bad times. They always will come, one way or another.

This bedspread also has a Christmas story.
It dates from the early seventies. Money were tighter and recycling and patchwork were in fact in. I the summer I'd been in my Mom's attic looking for some fabric. I found some- and then left for school.
Coming home for Christmas vacation I noticed my Dad had band aids on his right thumb, long and forefinger. I asked but did not get any reasonable answer.
Soon other topics occupied my interests.

Christmas Eve, time to open gifts. I got this parcel containing this bedspread. My Mom's and My Dad's eyes hung expectantly on me, as if to embraces my joy.
I was happy, of course I was. Then they both told the story about how my Dad had used scissors to cut 560 hexagons of thick cartoon. My Mom had cut the fabric equally, nettle and taped the hexagons to the cartoon and sewed them together by hand with tiny little stitches.
This was the first and last time my Dad participated in needlework.
They both were proud of their wounds from the patchwork craft, like warriors.
Needless to say I cherish that bedspread till this day.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Christmas curtains sewn by my Mom.
Don't they hang here always hubby asked, when I asked him if he spotted something new.
Children's Christmas craft shop. Nisseladies made from egg-carton.

Five days to go, one birthday and one long and winding road away from Christmas.
These are days for the Advent panic.
I should have baked, bought flowers for ten elderly, controlled the lists with people we are in gift- relation with. The snail mail. The e-mail. The newspaper guy. At least the main things are done. Food for Christmas is ordered, the important presents are in box, 15 cards sent today (used to be 50),our home is decorated, we've been to the graves with lights, lamps and wreathes.
Gunnar and his sister like to sing at the graves of their parents, sister and granddad. It's actually quite moving.

The Advent orange has only five cloves left, (oh, yes, one more Advent tradition from the seventies.)
I made this angle for my Dad some years ago. He had to spend Christmas in hospital for his seventh hip surgery. Gunnar went down late the little Christmas Eve (Dec. 23rd). He tip toed into the room where my dad was lying, and hung the angle over his bed on the steel bow holding Dad's foot.
Brother Ole says this is not a real angle. Angles are created, not born, therefor they have no bellybutton.
The days are growing steadily shorter.
People gather indoors. For adult Christmas Table, which mostly is about eating and getting drunk.
Children and youth groups of various kinds have made shows for their family to come and watch.
That's what I like the best.There are churches, schools, sports halls, even outdoor performances.
I've followed them all with undivided joy..

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I had planned more pictures here, but a sicko
visited my blog yesterday.He will not find more
for his twisted mind at this place.

I don't know how much children really care about Christmas decorations. I know families who don't even have a Santa.
The children are fine all the same.
Gifts do count for a lot,
they sure do.
Funny to see the youngest, most enchanted by the wrapping.
What lingers on in the grown ups golden memories of Christmas,the togetherness; time to eat elaborate meals, hundreds of stories
told by grandad and dad, while the women were doing the washing up(sic!) and before opening of the gifts, the laughs, the play, the games, and song and dance around the Christmas tree; diamonds that do not fade.

My birthday is in December.
Once, when Serina was a only a third grader, I invited my friends with children for a julenisse birthday party.
That was a party to remember, even today.

1. I traveled over land and sea,
I met an old man, he met me.
He talked of this, he talked of that:
He asked, "Where is your homeland?"
My home, it is in Clappingland,
Clappingland, clappingland.
And everyone who's clapping, can
All belong to Clappingland.

2. I traveled over land and sea,
I met an old man, he met me.
He talked of this, he talked of that:
He asked, "Where is your homeland?"
My home, it is in Pointingland,
Pointingland, Pointingland.
And everyone who's pointing, can
All belong to Pointingland.


Movement: This is a song the children love! form a circle around the tree. While holding hands, romp around the tree to the rhythm of the music, and follow the directions of each verse. You can add as many verses as you wish to create; for example: Stamping Land, Laughing Land, Jumping Land, etc. At the beginning of each new verse, everyone holds hands and the circle moves in the opposite direction of the previous verse.

Danish children singing in church


There's never any question about whether we shall have a tree or not. The issues are fur contra pine, and also the size of the tree. Children always will want a tree that reaches to the roof. My Mom prefer fur, cause the needles stick longer to fur. I for some years would buy a pine with roots and plant it out in the garden after Christmas.
Nowadays we have a tree in the attic... save us the problem with waste, not to talk of the complicated process of getting the sticky growth standing upright on the various foot models. S

Nowadays we have a tree in the attic... saves us the problem with waste, not to talk of the complicated process of getting the sticky growth standing upright on the various foot models.

After painful years of trial and error one finds a suitable spot in the living room for the tree. Important thing is; one must be able to move it out on the floor; to walk or dance around it. If the family is small, the homemade nisse can always join in.
In my opinion the tree shall be lit till over New Year.
Some say the Thirteenth day of Christmas ends the celebration. Some let Christmas last till The Twentieth Day. Then comes the Santa Knut and chase the Jul out.

When we were children, my Mom would not decorate for Christmas until the morning of Christmas Eve.
The two living rooms were shut, my Mom running two and from making this complicated Christmas dinner and a light meal for my Dad coming home from the office at 12. My brother and I were placed around the kitchen table, listening to the radio, a program called "While we are waiting",- no TV in the fifties.
Newly bathed and dressed in new costume, juledress, the minutes hardly ticked. About 3.30 my grandparents would arrive, the doors would swing open, and ooh, what a thrill, what a sight! Homemade paper clippings, lights, flag strings and heaps of glitter.

In the early days my Dad was Santa. I guess we always knew it was my Dad, at least after my brother started to cry at the age of two. I remember thinking, "What a jerk, spoiling all the fun." Daddy's clock revealed him.
Later the gifts were placed under the tree. Sad to say; the burden would be to heavy for one single Santa.
My father would always pretend to worry. "Is the gift heap not tiny this year. Then he would produce some big gifts from the bed room. He would always try to guess what was in the boxes. Even though reading the To and From Tags was forbidden. Here Gunnar caught him in the act three years ago.

Song for the Christmas tree,"You Green Glittering Tree"

1. Good day, you green and glittering tree!
We welcome you as we gladly greet you
With Christmas lights and Norwegian flags
And high on the top is your shining star.
Yes, it must shine for us to remind,
Yes, it must shine for it will remind
Us of our God, yes, of our God.

2. The first Christmas in a foreign land
God lit His brilliant star to show
That, as he promised in prophesy,
He sent His Son for all to see.
Yes, starlight shone on the angel's mirth,
Yes, starlight shone on the angels' mirth
'Round Bethlehem, 'round Bethlehem

3. Our mother taught us of Jesus, the Son,
On evenings when in our home we gathered.
We know His law and His gentle words;
We know we'll never them forsake.
The star shines, and our tree reminds us,
The star shines, and our tree reminds us.
Of His love, yes, of His love.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Ruby Tuesday
Originated by MaryT, check hers for today.

Ever had this empty feeling?
Was this all?
Months of buying, organizing, decorating.
Puff,- over!
We do celebrate. We go to church. We eat Mom's luxurious dinner. Before the dessert Dad had the lead.
As had his father before him. Even after his brain hemorrhage, the honor was his to read Luke 2:1-14.
A child is us given, a son is us born.

Never was his place emptier than last Christmas Eve.
How rich he has made us.


Mary's Boychild in Sauda.
Growing up in a little town where you divided in being Saved or not Saved was not easy. For the parent generation there were so many sins and "you must
The threshold to the church became intolerable high.
Till we got this very sensible ad courageous minister, Idsoe. He also taught religion in gymnasium and got the whole school reevaluated their prejudices and way of relate to both Jesus and the church.

About 1970 my brother and I had both finished school and left our hometown for further education.
When we returned for Christmas Holidays there was this
buzzing in town.
The Eidsvaag boy had been allowed to bring drums and el-guitars in the church. His sister was to be lead singer
while he conducted the ten-sing choir.
The congregation board had been in riot, but the
minister had after tough confrontations managed to pull his will through. The band was welcomed.
We were a bit late that evening, had to go 2,5 kilometers in the dark night, no car, no bus.
We never came longer than the shield-house (The entrance were all weapons must be delivered before entering the church. Young people for the first time
filled the old church to the brim and over. They stood along the aisle, filled the balcony and sat in the stairs up to the balcony.
The air was vibrant. Applause was unheard of in churches those days. The song was to honor God and him alone. When the band and choir finished the most moving concert I've ever attended, singing Mary's Boychild, the audience could not keep still anymore.
I could not hold my tears back.
In fact I cannot do it, when writing now, 40 years after.

I finally felt home, felt welcomed, in spite of my taste in music, with my way of dressing, make up, my hair, my books, my thoughts; it was me; becoming a whole again.
I thing I never really lost my faith in Jesus, just found a lot of the old extra man made rules very difficult.
Churches and congregations may still be a problem, but
since that concert I know I have a spiritual home with a place for me. The high-lofted, embracing Church of Norway.
Ladies and Gentlemen , I give you Mary's Boychild sung by the very best.
None of the pictures made by me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Serina is home.
Peace in heart, peace in mind.
We shall be together for three weeks.
The greatest gift.
I've chosen a lullaby for today.
Not any lullaby.
It was written by a man, Per Sivle, who lost his Mom at the age of 2 1/2. He would cherish the memory of the first song he heard all his life.
Later this very song has been sung by most cradles in Norway.
My Grandmom sung it to her children, my Mom sung it to me, and I sung it over and over again to my daughter.

Den fyrste song

Lars Søraas words: Per Sivle

Music missing? Email!
Den fyrste song eg høyra fekk, var mor sin song ved vogga, dei mjuke ord til hjarta gjekk, dei kunne gråten stogga. Dei sulla meg så underleg, så stilt og mjukt te sova, dei synte meg ein fager veg opp frå vår vesle stova. Den vegen ser eg enno tidt når eg får auga kvila, der stend ein engel, smiler blidt, som berre ei kan smila. Og når eg sliten trøytnar av i strid mot alt som veilar, eg høyrer stilt frå mor si grav den song som all ting heilar.

I know for sure these two guys' moms have song to them too.