How would you like to celebrate Christmas on a 200-year-old farm in a norwegian mountain village? The big, white old farm-house is filled with lights and guests, frost and snow cover the woods and the fields, but inside everyone is warm, safe and filled with joy. The cows are resting in the big red barn and dusk is falling. Then at five everyone goes out on the doorstep to listen to the faint sound of church bells announcing that Christmas is here. The next morning everyone will bundle up and drive to the 800 year old small stone church. The trumpets will sound, the choir will sing and everyone will be wearing their national costumes. Then there is Christmas lunch with all the traditional foods, then there is parties and playing in the snow. This fairy-tale will last until well into the new year.
This is how the best part of my childhood Christmases was spent, on an old vicarage in Norway. I have lived in the land of Christmas cards and Christmas stories, it is all true.
And then it is not.
This is what advertisements and movies want us to believe is the norm. This is what we can buy the plastic version of. I know that to try to be where I am not, will only bring disappointment and restlessness.
To me real life Christmas is to embrace and to enhance what is real, what is true and what is important to us. What I really learned from my winter magic Christmases though, is still the best tool I have for making Christmas happen anywhere.
You see if you live in a fairytale, you still have to live. It is so easy to focus on all the extra things that needs to be done, bought, made and planned and forget that Christmas has to take place in real life. In my childhood that meant that chopping and storing firewood was an essential preparation. Which meant that as many chores as possible should be done before Christmas so that everyone could rest. To me now, it means that stocking up on toilet paper, detergent, coffee, juice, candles and cereals is the first thing I do for Christmas. The rest will happen, the rest will be magical, I know.
Believe me, I know better than most how frantic and exhausting it is possible to make the season of peace and goodwill. The main story on Indexyourlife in December will be my way to a Christmas free of tangles.
In December my brother and I write an advent calendar blog together in norwegian.You may visit at JULEFRYD or Christmas Joy. This year we will be writing or sharing thoughts and joys of gifts, giving and sharing. We will post there every day, and I will share some of that blog here on indexyourlife too.
All pictures at Indexyourlife are mine, if not otherwise stated.to day they are from last years Christmas walks in Norway