Every year the moment I walk into my grandparent’s house the first thing I smell is cod and potatoes. Since my grandma is 100 percent Norwegian we make lefse, cod, and potatoes for our Christmas dinner. Lefse is a tortilla with sugar and butter spread on it. It’s customary to put cod mixed with potatoes on your lefse.
Traditional Norwegian foods include lefse, cod and other local fish, potatoes, kringla, pork ribs and sausages, lamb ribs, and of course beer. On Christmas morning my grandpa makes up oatmeal sausage or Goetta. This food originates from Germany. Christmas Eve in Norway is as popular of a holiday and Christmas Day. If religious, people attend a special Christmas Mass, then go home and eat a family dinner.
“Norwegians are every straight-laced people,” Jan Brandt, my grandmother, said.
My grandma said that the Norwegians are very strict people and how the Germans “get all of the fun”. While I can’t attest to this statement, further research provided that Norwegians have many decorations and clean the house for the journey of Mary and Joseph on Christmas Eve.
Other origins also have some odd traditions to celebrate the holidays.
“We hang an ornament pickle on our tree on Christmas morning and whichever kid finds it first gets to open presents first. It’s slightly strange and I’ve always wondered, why a pickle? It’s an Irish tradition of my family!” Moira Green, so., said.
This unique holiday tradition of hiding an ornament of a pickle on a Christmas tree is a fun way to determine who gets to open presents first. For the child who does find it first they either get an extra present or gets to open their presents first. Beliefs on the tradition’s origin, possibly being Irish or German, have been disproved and it is actually believed to originate from 19th century America. But other Irish traditions include setting a candle in a window on Christmas Eve, welcoming Mary and Joseph.
No matter what holiday you celebrate, I hope you have a good one and enjoy all the traditions that come with it.