Celeberating Christmas

Another Christmas has past. Bringing plenty of good food, nice gifts and a lot of time with family. We had two large family parties at my parents house this Christmas, so I moved in there to help prepare food and stuff for the parties and to avoid having to get transportation back and forth all the time. On the night before Christmas eve I went back to my childhood home to participate in the traditional “tasting of the Christmas food” and watching the Norwegian pre-Chritmass show on tv.

On Christmas eve (which is he day santa comes to Norway) I woke up and opened the last gifts of my calendar and those from my friends. We made Pinnekjøtt and all the stuff that goes with this dish and visited my grandparents graves with my remaining granddad, my dad and my brother. When the guest arrived we ate, drank had a good time and got all our gifts. I had obviously been good this year because I got everything on my wish list and more! Among other things I got new plates, cutlery and a teapot. And just as importantly everyone seemed to be happy with the things we got them.

A small, but good selection of my gifts this year

A small, but good selection of my gifts this year

On Christmas morning we ha a nice long breakfast before we started to get the house, the turkey and ourselves ready for the next party. This party was a success as well and everyone had a nice time. On boxing day I was tired from all the family parties, even if they where fun they where also draining. So I stayed at home with my dad watching football all day after my mum had gone to work.

All in all a great Christmas, I hope all of you have had a good one too 🙂

Last weekend before Chrstmas

This weekend has been a great pre-Christmas weekend. Was really tired on friday so I fell asleep early and woke well rested on saturday. I started the day by tidying and cleaning my apartment before a good friend, her husband and little daughter came to visit. As she lived in Bergen it was a long time since last saw them and we had a nice time eating the things I baked for Christmas and catching up on everything.

Afterwards I went to my parents place for dinner and I spent the evening there watching a Christmas concert on TV and one of the films I always watch before Christmas, Love Actually. I was a bit shocked when i remembered that this film i now 10 years old. But it’s still one of  the newest of the films I see every year. Love_Actually_movie

Today I’ve been helping my father buying some presents and some more gift wrapping paper and coffee for me.  As it was raining a lot today I feared the paper bags they have a the Nespresso shop would be damaged before I got home. From an environmental point of view the paper bags are much better than the plastic ones, but when you live in a city where it’s often raining it’s not always the best option if you want to be able to bring what you bought home. But a Nespresso they gave me a rain cover for my bag 🙂

Rain cover for paper bags

Rain cover for paper bags

The rest of the weekend will be used to watch more films and wrap the last gifts for Christmas, listening to Christmas music and other nice stuff.

A new year approaching

Flowers from a friend who was traveling and had no use for them :)

Flowers from a friend who was traveling and had no use for them 🙂

The end of the year is approaching  and of course this means that 2013 is getting to an end. Many people had their last day at work for the year today. Due to these facts work has been very busy lately, because everyone wants to get as many affairs in order as possible. I’m going in to the office on the last few working days this year and I’m looking forward to it. Because it will help me start the new year with all the work I was supposed to do done *knock on wood* Even if things have been a bit stressful lately I’ve never enjoyed this job more.

A new year brings with it new opportunities among other things I’m going to be a maid of honor for a dear friend, sing at her wedding and other wedding related things. I’m going to play with my band at the Norwegian Championship and things at work does not look like its calming dow any time soon. And after this we’re nearing Mid February… Busy year ahead, but I still think it could be a very good one. With great friends and a good family things can easily go very well.

Traditions part 2

Yesterday me and my brother went Christmas shopping. This is something we do together every year. When we were younger it was to pull our recourses so that we could get the people we bought presents for a better gift than we could afford by ourselves. Now we do it mostly because it is a tradition and because we can decide together  what to get people and also we can still buy better gifts when we join forces. This year my brother picked me up at work and we drove to the mall. As suspected we were not the only ones. We got the gifts we had decided to buy in advance and that were available in the mall but we moved the traditional dinner or coffee we get after shopping to my apartment. Afterwards I went to get the gifts I’m buying alone, that I still had not bought. So now I’m all done shopping for Christmas 🙂

My giftwrapping paper of choice this year.

My giftwrapping paper of choice this year.

Today the whole family gathered at my parents place to eat and make marzipan. We used to do this at my grandmother’s place when I was little and we’d combine it with helping her clean her house for Christmas. Now we do this at my parents place because they have the most room. We always remember the loved ones that are no longer with us a little extra this time of year and what better way of remembering them than to honor the traditions they valued the most. The batch of marzipan this year was very good. The almonds were nicely peeled and dried and the family recipe worked like a charm this year as well.

And for those of you who where wondering if my granddad liked his surprise, I can say that he absoulutely adored it!

Traditions

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As most of you might have noticed Christmas is fast approaching. And a huge part of Christmas for my family is traditions. Apart from the obvious traditions like how we celebrate Christmas eve and Christmas day, we have a lot of traditions in the time leading up to Christmas. This weekend has been about some of them.

Friday we celebrated my aunts birthday, which is sort of our first family Christmas party. This year we celebrated her birthday a little early and it came on the 13th the day of Saint Lucia. We did not dress up in white with lights in our hair and hands singing the Saint Lucia son as we did when we where kids, but we did get freshly baked “lussekatter” (a kind of bun with saffron). Good food was served and the traditional dessert cloudberry cream with a Norwegian Christmas cake called Kromkake.

Yesterday I caught up with some sleep and watched a lot of winter sport on TV. Fun to watch the Norwegians do well, and as I’ve mentioned before watching winter sport is something I find very relaxing and it is a perfect activity for when you just want to unwind and clear your head.

Today my family gathered again and spent all day baking and decorating a sort of Christmas cookies. Then we ate dinner and I played a lot with my cousins two-year old. I really enjoy that my family is so close and that we have been able to hold on to these traditions from before I was born. Christmas makes you appreciate your family even more than usual and I am very grateful fo mine.

The Hunger Games Conundrum

Came across this great post about a book series I enjoyed a lot. Have not seen the second film yet, but looking forward to see it soon.

The Book Wars

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            George Orwell and Aldous Huxley imagined two very different dystopias. In 1984 (1949), Orwell depicts the forces that held people captive as fundamentally external: coercion, espionage, laws, institutions, and threats, lies told by the powers-that-be (or, the state? government?). The vision of freedom that Orwell presents is primarily socio-political, with the greatest threat to humans being other humans, whether the Nazi, the slave-owner, or the autocrat etc… Oppression comes through pain, not pleasure; the essence of liberty is to be without external constraint. By contrast, Huxley’s Brave New World (1934), published just after the Wall Street crash had turned the excess of the twenties into the Great Depression of the thirties, portrays a future in which people are enslaved to forces within themselves: desire, inanity, hedonism, egotism, ignorance. Humans are free if they are able to choose, to will their own future, to decide for themselves what they will…

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