As the holidays are upon us a couple things come to mind, the first being, “Holy Crow! Another year is almost over? Where does the time go?” I remember hearing my parents saying that and I never really understood how quickly the time passes. But in deed it does. Nevertheless to me Christmas is about tradition.
There is something comforting about these rituals, like a guideline that keeps order in our lives and binds family ties. Every culture has them and I encourage to preserve the ones you remember and/or start your own.
My parents were Norwegian as were their parents, and we have a tradition in which we women get together the Sunday before Christmas to make lovely delicacies such as Krumkaker, Yulekake and Fattigman. This consists of 3 generations of women in the family and friends whom we have claimed as family making traditional Norwegian goodies. Since we make them in the old way it requires an assembly line with everyone doing their own job. Before we start a new batch it is punctuated with a Norwegian toast and shot of Jose Cuervo…Nothing Norwegian about tequila but who cares?! It’s a fun occasion and we laugh and enjoy our sisterhood. The men watch football when they’re not hovering in search the imperfect cookies that will never make it to a gift basket. And the name of this day is Skitten Søndag.
I’m told it means Messy Sunday.
But somehow in my family it was transformed from Skitten Søndag
to Shitten Søndag
; I have no doubt that my father’s sense of humor had something to do with that.
As time progresses… as it will, and the family gains and loses members, our lives change too, but the tradition of Shitten Sondag remains for us. It has added continuity to our holiday. We remember our Mothers and Fathers, our aunts and uncles, our friends and loved ones who have passed…usually in the form of a toast or a story that has been told a hundred times. I truly feel their presence as we honor them.
Even so, sometimes I find it hard to get into the Christmas Spirit. Stores put out their Christmas goods and bring on the Christmas music right after Halloween; by the time Christmas arrives I can barely stand one more Christmas carol or bad commercial. Something that helps kindle the Spirit in me is to do a Christmas craft or make a gift. There’s an energy generated when I make something myself that, puts me in touch with the joy of the holiday; shopping just does NOT do it for me. A friend of mine one year surprised me with a gift of a wreath-making class at a local farm. We laughed, clipped pine boughs, wrapped them, poked ourselves with pine needles and got full of sap. It was great! To top it off, we came away with a lovely scented, fresh wreath to hang on our doors. Thanks Cora!
Have a joyous holiday and during this season of light, I wish, for you the love of life, a healthy mind and body, physical and spiritual prosperity, the joy and fellowship of family and friends, the insight to recognize injustice and the courage to stand up to it with the serenity of faith to carry you throughout your life.
Thank you for blessing me by being a part of my life and letting me serve you all these many years!
Love and Light, Lori