We spent Christmas in North Jutland at my uncle’s this year. In many ways it’s been a wonderful Christmas, but I’ve also had some mixed emotions. It’s the first year that my little brother (wasn’t supposed to) spend Christmas with us, and one of my best friends´ mom passed away this Christmas. It’s difficult to block out things like these, even when everything else around you is good. I was surrounded by joyful people, the food was amazing and the spirit high. But in the back of my mind, I was a little troubled and sad for my friend.
Then on Christmas Eve, my brother and sister-in-law showed up unannounced and early. They weren’t supposed to come until the day after so I was super happy that I got to spend Christmas with them after all!
DEC. 23: LITTLE CHRISTMAS EVE
We headed north on the 23rd and spent Little Christmas Eve (Lille Juleaften) with the family. Elisabeth had made eggnog with cognac that tasted like Baileys so it quickly became popular, at least with me. Anton and Emma decked the tree while the rest of us digged into the Christmas candy.
It was super hygge ♥
DEC. 24: CHRISTMAS EVE
Normally, we’re pretty busy on the 24th, but this year everyone was so chilled that I started stressing if we had forgotten something. We hadn’t, though. My family is super organized especially at times like these, so every little tiny thing was planned carefully down to the last detail.
At 4pm, half of the family went to church while the rest of us followed tradition and watched Disney’s Christmas show: “From all of us to all of you”. It’s a 60 minute selection of short clips from classic animated Disney films, like Bambi, Snow white and Donald Duck, hosted by Jimini Cricket. The same show is shown every year, but I never get tired of watching it. Apparently dad feels the same way.
You can watch a clip from it here.
A tribute to my mom
Christmas is not just about amazing food and hygge. It’s also a time to treasure the people we love and care about. I’ve treasured and felt extra love in my heart for my mom this Christmas. Every year, she does all the planning, all the food, baking and cleaning. She never complains about it or expects our help. She’s always happy, positive and cheerful, even when times get tough.
I’ve realized recently that it’s a rare quality, to love and give without expecting anything in return. My mom has this rare quality, and she is the heart & soul in our family. It wouldn’t be Christmas without her, and the older I get the more I value everything she does for us.
Thank you, mom. And thanks for being my first and always supportive reader.
In my family, we have the same dish every Christmas, which is: roast duck: OH MY, caramelized potatoes: ohmygosh, boiled potatoes with duck gravy: yuuum, AND risalamande for dessert. FEEL THE LOVE, guys. You just sit right on back and feel the Danish dessert love.
Risalamande is cold rice pudding with whipped cream, sugar, vanilla and peeled chopped almonds. According to tradition, one whole almond is hidden in the bowl and the finder gets a present. The fun part is trying to find it and then hide it from everyone else so they keep eating to get it. I usually get the almond, but for the past three, four years my youngest bro has found it first.
And guess who got the almond again this year? Can you believe that smug face! ↓
DEC. 25: CHRISTMAS LUNCH
And now, my food-loving readers, the 25th of December is the BIG Christmas lunch day in Denmark. Most Danes eat roast pork, meatballs, and creamed chicken with asparagus in patty shells, but in my family we eat FISH. Sure, we have some traditional food on the table too, but on this day we serve lots of home cooked dishes and fresh seafood, like cod roe, herring, salmon, eel and shrimps.
A whole day of eating was completed with arm-wrestling. Gurli put up a good fight, but was defeated in the end.
DEC. 26: CHRISTMAS LUNCH PART TWO
Two days later and we’re still eating…
On the 26th, we had a second Christmas lunch, but this time with a family dish: stewed/creamy cabbage with cinnamon and boiled pork. It’s not a Danish tradition per se, but rather a local dish in North and South Jutland. My family loves it, especially when it’s served with Christmas beer mixed with Fanta.
All in all, it was a good Christmas in North Jutland, and I got to spend it with the people I love. I hope yours was just as magical.