Yesterday church held a very ‘Norwegian’ party – the Juletrefest (Christmas tree party). I was a little skeptical of the description – ‘we’ll sing songs as we dance around the tree’ – which sounded a bit pagan. However, it’s probably one of those ‘Christianised’ old customs and the songs were mostly carols ‘sung in joyful celebration of Jesus’ (whilst dancing around the tree – in joyful celebration of Jesus). There was of course plenty of coffee and cake to fuel the dancers. The tree itself was not in the ‘sanctuary’, but rather the ‘våpenhus’ – the armoury where you leave your weapons before entering the sanctuary (sounds a bit american!). Here’s a short video clip. Pictures are below.
In addition to singing and dancing there were games, some of our junior choir sang and there was also a visit by a very cool ‘Nissen’ (Nissen is a Norwegian character, a bit like Santa Clause), who gave out gifts to all the children who said they were ‘snill’ (kind). So, as in the rest of the western world, ‘works righteousness’ is alive and well!
And the final bit of news: having been about the only place in the world not to have snow for Christmas (or the last 6 weeks), it finally arrived yesterday, together with a bit of wind, although so far not enough to be a problem.