Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas decor by my Mom

Theme for this Ruby Tuesday is Christmas decorations crafted by my mother. Christmas time is very special to our culture, first and foremost because it is Christ Mass. We celebrate Christmas Eve. It starts when the church bells are chiming the night in at 3 pm. A reminiscence from Catholic times in Norway 500 years ago.

For table decoration I cover the tablecloth with place mats. My mother has crouched pieces for plates

and glasses in red cotton. Sets of six, for our own core family.

These pot holders were made in the seventies, using cotton, insulation, glue and embroideries. I love this couple and have never met their likes.
My mother never liked mass production. Her products are therefore very special.

Yuletide is also an even elder celebration of winter solstice, December 21st. Our yule-nisse is a very far relative of Santa Claus. He is in fact a tiny fellow living in barns and require special treatment at Christmas time, such as porridge and leftovers from the heavy yule dinner. If he's not well waited upon, he'll make nisse knots in the girls long hair and the cows will produce sour milk.
The nisse family are playful, but also craving.
They have the power to protect and spread peace on the farm, but will only do so, if well treated.

My mother painted these three plates for Gunnar, Serina and me in the eighties. I cherish them highly, and would cry if anything happened to them.
The red nisse hoods are knitted by wool, and used in many ways, not only in Christmas time. During the war, ( Yes, WW2 is what we mean by the war. In contrast to others we were actually occupied for five years, and the wounds are still not healed) as a symbol of Norwegian resistance. The nazi leaders actually forbade Norwegians to use the nisse hood. Shot was he who didn't obey.

These nisse maidens are made by fabric print and embroidery. My mother again. She cut the forms, made the printing and sewed pattern. They are originally meant to be curtains, but this year I have used them for kitchen table cloth.

Little by little the table gets messed up during advent time. Then this bouquet of tulips, which I received for my birthdays was freshening the table up. Thank you, Mia.
Now the family is gathered and in just five days the waiting will be over.
Sometimes I think that the waiting is almost as precious as the celebration.
December is filled by preparation and joyful expectation, plus two birthdays in our family.
Joy to the world.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Nativity Scnene on Tuesday

A Norwegian enter hall is bigger than the Americans. First one is supposed to take off ones shoes in the outer entry room. Then there's a wardrobe for coats and rain gear e.t.c. Just because of the climate we simply need lots and lots of space for these things. Then there's our old chest of drawers containing this and that, scarves, mittens, caps, reflex bonds, sunglasses and whatever one might need for a comfortable outdoor life.
This Advent I also set up our Nativity Scene there.

Even though the same old figurines are present, they every year seem to choose different ways of presenting themselves . The main persons, Josef, Maria, baby Jesus and the shepherds were bought home made of white plaster in the seventies. We were three friends who came together to paint them with watercolours. They sorely need repainting, but because of the good memories, I'm somewhat reluctant to do that. Home made angels from way back are attending. So are people from every corner of the world.
The cernit angels are reading in the old Bible belonging to my father, the Gospel from Luke 2.

Serina's red haired angel seems to have been partying too much before the night. Oh, I love that funny face. I also love the wise-man from Germany, given to me by my life long German friend Christa. The mini chandelier is a gift from a family friend, Magda. She deeply influenced me in her mild, but firm way of living Christianity. She would have been 124 years this January. I still miss her and cherish every single memory after her.

The Globe is placed there for symbolic reasons. The treasure chest is from one of Serina's many toys. The little puppy has faithfully followed me for 56 years. It sure deserves its place among the worshippers.

Persons of all sizes and shapes are present. The big ones originally belonged to my second Nativity Scene. I gave it away this Christmas to a family who had none. The shepherd and the flute player figurines are made of ceramic and bought just because I stumbled over them and thought they might fit in with the rest of the crowd. The Weihnachtsmann is another gift from Christa.

Wishing you all a Silent Night with peace at heart wherever you may be.

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