December 25, 2014

 

The countdown to Christmas began weeks ago, and this week finally culminates in the events that many of us have been looking forward to all year: Lilli Juleaften (Little Christmas Eve) and Julen (Christmas)!

 

lillijuleaften houseAll over the world families have their own special Christmas traditions.  Some gather to eat, sing and exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, while others prefer to do it Christmas morning after Santa Claus has made his rounds.  Or perhaps you’re like me and you enjoy a full two-day celebration (or longer)!  Either way, we all can say that we share in an annual event that brings together friends and family to enjoy delicious food, wonderful company and a joyful and jubilant yuletide celebration!

 

 

Christmas lights on Michigan Avenue

Christmas lights on Michigan Avenue

I went by to visit Mormor at The Danish Home recently and the festivity was everywhere! She was so excited to tell me all about the wonderful holiday activities that she and her friends have been participating in over the past few weeks. One of her favorites has been to go with her friends to see the Christmas lights all over the Chicagoland area.  They have been over to Rosemont, downtown to Michigan Avenue, and this week they stayed close to home and toured the lights of their own neighborhood and nearby parks.  She said they were all beautiful!

 

Lillijuleaften dinner1966

Danish Home Lillijuleaften dinner in 1966

They had their annual Lillejuleaften service and dinner on Tuesday night featuring delicious roasted duck and pork with brown sauce with boiled cabbage and potatoes.  I know that Mormor was looking so forward to it.  She said that they

ris a la mande

Delicious ris a la mande

were going to sing songs, dance around the tree, and feast on gløgg and ris a la mande (rice pudding with cherry sauce).  I wonder who was lucky enough to find the almond in their bowl and win the almond prize (usually a marzipan pig).  What a fun tradition and I’m sure they all had a blast!

 

Danish Christmas Seal 1945

Danish Christmas Seal 1945

As I spoke with several wonderful residents about the wonderful holiday festivities that take place this time of year, one said, “I’m having a good time. I’ve been coming to the events for the last 15 years. The decorations, all the trees, poinsettias are so great to see. It brings me back to my home growing up with all the lights.”

 

This season of happiness, love and thanks brings joy to us all and the Christmas spirit endows us all to feel young at heart.  Here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas holiday with one another!

 

Feel like singing and dancing around your tree today?  Here are the lyrics to the Danish song Now it’s Christmas Again:

Nu’ det jul igen,
og nu’ det jul igen,
og julen varer li’ til påske.
Nej det’ ikke sandt,
nej det’ ikke sandt,
for ind imellem kommer fasten!

Now it’s Christmas time,
And now it’s Christmas time,
And holidays will last ’til Easter.
No, it is not true,
No, it is not true,
For in between is Lent!

Glædelig jul!