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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