Tuesday, December 04, 2007


It's that time again -- JULE!!!! All of the Christmas lights are up in town, and there is a little evergreen tree on every single street corner. Also, the 50-foot Christmas tree in the town square is all decked out with lights and stuff. Pretty!!

As a child, my Christmases were about Santa, toys, tinsel and long wish lists. Not so much on the real "reason for the season," as my brother likes to say. Anyhoodle, now I'm learning all about Advent. Although very few Danes attend church, everyone seems to belong to one, and you even have to list your "kirke" on government forms. My friend, Annette, made this spectacular Advent wreath for us, using roses from her actual garden. (In December!) She and her husband, Tony, and their sweet, sweet sweetie pie son, David (a week shy of 3), joined us for dinner recently, and I probably should have been a little more red-faced about the candle thing. Apparently, you're not supposed to light them all at once -- just one every Sunday during the Advent season. Okie doke! I got it now.

Next week we're going to Jorunn and Jeppe's for some "Julehygge," which at first listen sounds like "Ylllhhgga," or "YOO-luh-hoo-gah." It means, literally, "Christmas coziness." We'll drink glog and bake cookies and make ornamenty things and be all cozy-cozy and stuff. Nice, huh? Beats fighting over the last rolls of cellophane at the West Seattle Dollar Store anyday.

The only sad note here is that as Danes decorate their trees THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (HELLO, SLEEPYHEADS!), we can't get a tree until about a week before Christmas. Still, I hear there are some renegade black-market outfits who start things early out the backs of their vans down by the river, so I'm keeping my eyes peeled.


NotQuiteDanish said...

I know - and the thought of doing the tree the night before is starting to stress me out :) Another thing for the must do list. When do they take it down?

I've also been forewarned by Danes at work to be wary of the mood swing after Christmas. According to them, everyone's all Julhygge and light up until just after Christmas then they get a big attack of the sads as they ponder what do do for the following months of darkness, which they'd forgotten about. LOL.

Oh well, we'll think of something!

Bluefish said...

I just learned that Danes who belong to a Church have to pay a "Church tax". I find that interesting. No place in my bf's family apartment so we'll just light candles and eat traditional Danish food. I'll be there soon.:D

Lurendrejer said...

Danes are born into the national church, Folkekirken, if their parents are members. And most people are, although the majority aren't religious at all. You can leave the church by filling out a form, and then you don't have to pay taxes anymore. The taxes are mostly spent on upkeep and maintance of the churces - meaning the actual buildings - so even non religious people don't mind paying the taxes because of the historical and cultural significance of many of the old churches.