Saturday, December 06, 2008


My parents belonged to the Pentecost Church.
Always lots and lots of happy children there.
A couple of hundreds came to the "Christmas tree feasts", proud Moms included..

In 1958 sugar and cars were still rationed. That is there was no free import of luxery goods. The old lady on the platform made hot coaco for the children and coffee for the grown ups. No tables. We used the yellow benches for tables and spilled lots of coaco on our new dresses. The blue flag with the yellow star is for missionary Ingeborg out in Belgian Congo. (Where she still is working as a teacher.) Homemade decorations, paper mostly. At the age of ten I joined the junior musicians. The sniggering girl in the background, playing guitar, that's your mercury headed truly.
Four candles are lit on this homemade candle cloth. Piano, trumpet, accordion, mandolin and 10 guitars. Some sound.
Svend provided a Christmas tree every year. Huge tree up to the ceiling. My uncle Leif played games and kept 200 kids focused and thrilled.
Bet their having a good time in Heaven with him to lead the feasts. (He has also taken all these pics.)
When I had finished gymnasium I had to leave home to get further education. Every year I would get a phone. There's Christmas Tree Feast at Salem, will you come and help out with the preparations and food serving? I would have been so sorry if they had not bothered to ask.
On the second feast;there were one for preschool children, one for elder, I even got time to walk around the tree and sing the old, dear songs.
Here I am 1971 in a lilac hood dress.

O, Christmas you season with childlike delight. O jul med din glede. Gustava Kielland

For Debbie's Daddy:

O, jul med din glede

Tekst og Tone: Gustava Kielland

1. O jul med din glede og barnlige lyst

vi ønsker deg alle velkommen;

vi hilser deg alle med jublende røst

titusende ganger velkommen!


Vi klapper i hendene,

vi synger og vi ler,

så gladelig, så gladelig.

Vi svinger oss i kretsen og neier, og bukker.

2. I Østerlands vise, I tre vise menn,

vi vet jo hvorhen I vil drage;

for vi vil jo også så gjerne derhen

og eder på reisen ledsage.


3. Så rekker jeg deg nå med glede min hånd,

kom skynd deg og gi meg den annen,

så knytter vi kjærlighets hellige bånd

og lover å elske hinannen.


I found a site translating the song from Norwegian to English line by line.

O `July with your joy

Fra Dikt From Dikt

Gå til: navigasjon , søk Jump to: navigation, search

Å jul med din glede og barnlige lyst To July with your joy and childlike desire
vi ønsker deg alle velkommen we wish you all welcome
vi hilser deg alle med jublende røst We greet you all with Jublende voice
ti tusene ganger velkommen Tuesday tusene times welcome

Vi klapper i hendene We pat in the hands
vi synger og vi ler We sing and we laugh
så glad er vi, så glad er vi so glad we are so glad we are
vi svinger oss i kretsen og neier We turn us in the circuit and neier
og bukker and bows

I Østerlands vise, I tre stjernemenn In the Baltic's view, the star of three men
vi vet nok hvorhen I skal drage we know enough where I should dragon
for vi ville også så gjerne derhen for we would also like so derhen
og eder på reisen ledsage and photos on the trip escort

Vi klapper i hendene We pat in the hands
vi synger og vi ler We sing and we laugh
så glad er vi, så glad er vi so glad we are so glad we are
vi svinger oss i kretsen og neier We turn us in the circuit and neier
og bukker and bows

Så rekker jeg deg nå med glede min hånd So I prefer you now enjoy with my hand
kom, skynd deg og gi meg den annen come, hurry up and give me the other
Så knytter vi kjærlighets hellige bånd So we associate love sacred ties
og lover å elske hinannen and promise to love hinannen

Vi klapper i hendene We pat in the hands
vi synger og vi ler We sing and we laugh
så glad er vi, så glad er vi so glad we are so glad we are
vi svinger oss i kretsen og neier We turn us in the circuit and neier
og bukker and bows

Gustava Kielland Gustava Kielland

Friday, December 05, 2008


Today is Sinter Claas in the Nederlands. Brother Ole, a friend of mine for fourty years, is a monk in a Dutch Benedictine Monastery. The monks also celebrate today and become small gifts.
Brother Ole, who's great passions are books and icon painting, will hide the gifts sent him from Norway for Christmas Eve. He'll open them alone in his cell. He even has a small baby tree up there.
Hard to understand that some willingly gives so much of his life away.

I have become a mystery gift this week. A friend of mine had to empty a cabinet in her living room. She found this walnut tree box with my name in it. She could however not remember who had brought it there. So now I have this mystery gift placed in my kitchen window. For grace.

Jeg Er Saa glad was composed in 1859 by Peder Knudsen with lyrics by Marie Wexelsen. For me it is the pinnacle of Norwegian Christmas songs both because of it’s popularity and simplicity.

I remember very well as a young child in Seattle attending the Sons of Norway Sumnerslaget Christmas celebration. Hundreds of salty Norwegians would sing this song in chorus. What a beautiful sound that I quite took for granted.

Lyrics in English and Norwegian Posted Below

This song is performed well by choirs from both St. Olaf and Pacific Lutheran University. You will find CD’s easily online if interested.
Imagine my utter shock to see these lyrics posted on a website under the general classification of “Scandinavian”. You should know that although us Norwegians are quiet, boring and stale - we are fiercely proud of our heritage. Do not count the Vikings out as they may emerge again for global domination. Norskes do not consider “Swedish” and “Danish” as a complete trilogy of our heritage as many assume. We are our own people - thick headed, muleish and the bravest of the brave.

You should also know that although Ballard, WA (largely Norwegian population) is a suburb of Seattle, very few Norskes will admit this fact. Norskes refer to Seattle as a suburb of Ballard.

Jeg Er Sa Glad is usually written in 3/4 or 6/8 time, but has a gentle lilt that suggests 6/8. Think of falling snow, gently swishing your skis down the slope side to side - and you will have the correct feel for this traditional Norwegian Christmas song.

Jeg er så glad hver julekveld,
for da ble Jesus født,
da lyste stjernen som en sol,
og engler sang så søtt.

Det lille barn i Betlehem,
han var en konge stor
som kom fra himlens høye slott
ned til vår arme jord.

Nå bor han høyt i himmerik,
han er Guds egen Sønn,
men husker alltis på de små
og hører deres bønn.

Jeg er så glad hver julekveld,
da synger vi hans pris:
da åpner han for alle små
sitt søte paradis.

Da tenner moder alle lys,
så ingen krok er mørk;
hun sier stjernen lyste så
i hele verdens ørk.

Hun sier at den lyser enn
og slukkes aldri ut,
og hvis den skinner på min vei,
da kommer jeg til Gud.

Jeg holder av vår julekveld
og av den herre Krist
og at han elsker meg igjen,
det vet jeg ganske visst.


1. I am so glad each Christmas Eve,
The night of Jesus’ birth!
Then like the sun the Star shone forth,1
And angels sang on earth.

2. The little Child in Bethlehem,
He was a King indeed!
For He came down from heaven above
To help a world in need.

3. He dwells again in heaven’s realm,
The Son of God today;
And still He loves His little ones
And hears them when they pray.

4. I am so glad on Christmas Eve!
His praises then I sing;
He opens then for every child
The palace of the King.2

5. When mother trims the Christmas tree
Which fills the room with light,
She tells me of the wondrous Star
That made the dark world bright.

6. She says the Star is shining still,
And never will grow dim;
And if it shines upon my way,
It leads me up to Him.

7. And so I love each Christmas Eve
And I love Jesus, too;
And that He loves me every day
I know so well is true.

Words: “Jeg Er Saa Glad Hver Julekveld,” Marie Wexelsen, 1859; translated from Norwegian to English by Peter Andrew Sveeggen (1881-1959). Wexelsen (1832-1911) published three children’s books, among them Ketil, en Julegave for De Smaa (”Ketil, a Christmas Gift for Little Ones”), where this Christmas carol introduced a longer story. At that time she entitled it “The Child’s Christmas Carol.”

Music: “Jeg Er Saa glad” (”Christmas Eve”), Peder Knudsen (1819-1863), 1859

Posted by askland

Thursday, December 04, 2008


The crib is installed.
People from the ends of the earth are coming to Bethlehem.
To worship the King born in a stable.
I wonder if the herds ever forgot that glorious night.
Or if their wives believed them when they came home.
Faith is believing what cannot be seen.
"I just have a small faith, but it's my faith," a man said in a TV interview some years ago.
Guess I'm about there now.

Mitt hjerte alltid vanker
My heart will always wander in the birthroom of Jesus", this hymn says.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Advent is time for workshops. At schools, the scouts, kindergartens, retirements homes anyone who can hold a tube of glue and a piece of paper will be engaged.
My Mom used to invite the neighbor kids for Advent workshops, making paper baskets and long multicolored chains.
I always had a wonderful time at work in December, setting out the oddest projects.
With Serina and her friends I have had the best Advent workshops ever.

Now the also seems to be past tense.
The hiker ladies are on the same wavelength also when it comes to playing. Last Tuesday we made a rather quick walk, no stops, and then back to Liv's home for some snacks.

Afterward time for the real thing; transforming birch branches to outdoor nisses.
Needless to say we went home uplifted and proud with our pair of nisse.

Song about the Church bells calling out the good news about the birth of Christ


Today I've read about Hanukkah and the light feast with the nine grained Menorah.
There are also a seven grained Menorah, more common among us. I've come to think that our Advent stick, also with seven lights might be a descendant of the Menorah.
All this philosophizing just because Amrita asked about the origin of the Advent stick.
Just now I wish I could take you all for a tour around town.
Almost very house in almost every room there is an Advent stick burning day and night.
Even in our Chinese Restaurant.
I like to imagine that God and His Son are smiling.
Despite depression, war, terrorism and other cruelties the average man is letting his Advent-sticks burn a whole month.
Lights of hope, lights of peace.

Light song from Norway
Happy Hanukkah

Monday, December 01, 2008


Originated by MaryT, check hers for today.

Ruby chaos
Ruby peace

Wow, our home is more like a bomb site at the moment. To decorate for Christmas one first has to remove the previous show pieces. In our hallway 12 boxes of season garnityre are colliding with ditto fixed exhibition.
My Mom years ago painted full Christmas porcelain service, breakfast & dinner. Actually not only for us, but for my three best friends and my sister-in-law and brother-in-law as well. Mamma says she'll rather give away than sell. Handicraft does not pay.
For now I have found mine and hubby's coffee mugs. They'll be used until New Year's Eve.
See what a real Norwegian youlenisse looks like!


First day of December also means a special Advent series in Children's TV. For a good many years Norway only had one TV-channel. Six o'clock is children time. I always used to watch TV together with my daughter. Honestly I watched the Christmas series long before she was born.

I have two favorites; Christmas in Shoemaker Street and Christmas in Blue Mountain. Both are straightforward about Jesus being the reason for the Season. Lots of good songs and a variety of nice people and nisses. In Norway there are no Santa Claus, but the Youle nisse. He's as old as the trolls and goes a thousand years back. The nisse most often lives in the barns on farms, but in Bluemountain the Bluenisses live. They are a rather new invetion, but have captured the minds of young and old.
I am so looking forwards to meeting them again this afternoon.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Sunday Of Advent

  1. The first Sunday of Advent I still think I've got plenty of time..
Yesterday Gunnar was in the attic, bumping down 12 boxes of old and worn Christmas decorations.
The calendar made by my Mom, my brother and me back in 1956, it's so fragile, I don't dare to iron it. Mom let us choose patterns from an old embroidery book. The lilac rabbit was my brother's idea. He loved all kinds of animals with a rare passion. It was added to the calendar with x stitches under my wild protests. Now I have an especial weak spot for exact that little rabbit.
In the small pockets little bits of fudge or chocolate were carefully wrapped and stuck in. We were to open one every other day. I always got the even numbers, since my birthday is an even number in December.
Serina had the calender all to her self for 19 years.
Now she's got the replica my Mom made for me in 1969, my first advent away from home.
I made her 12 parcels and 12 words of wisdom to go in the first 12 pockets.
Then, if God will, she'll be home for Christmas vacation.
It is a good thing for young and old to return to their birthplaces, "their city of David".

This song about The Star of Bethlehem was about the first song I tried to teach my class, as a teacher's substitute, age 18.