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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Glaedelig Lille Julaften

Norwegians, living as they do
in some pretty grim and dark
December weather, make the most of Christmas.

They even have a name for the day
before Christmas Eve:  Lille Julaften.

Translation:  Little Christmas Eve.

My mother and I always called one another on Lille Julaften.
We'd compare our Julekake, or Christmas bread, and just spend some time away from the pre-Christmas-Eve whirlwind.
Reminiscing.  Catching up.  Winding down.

My mother believed it was okay to still be baking or cleaning on Lille Julaften;
by the next day, all chores were to be finished so you would be in a calm and serene state of mind,
ready for that night's church services, and ready to settle your children down with gentle words and quiet stories.
Yeah, that often happens to mothers with young children -- serenity before Christmas.

I didn't say it always turned out that way, but it was something to aim for.

I miss my mother very much today.

I visited my Dad this afternoon.
But he and I don't talk of holiday decorating or cleaning,
or past Christmas triumphs or trials,
or what the choir will sing tomorrow night,
or whether Granny Gustafsen's Julekake recipe trumps Mom Eriksen's.

No, Dad and I talked about plumbing, and gifts for the staff where he lives.
Practical things.

I think I will call my sister now, and wish her a Glaedelig Lille Julaften.
I wonder if she baked Julekake?
I'm breaking the rules, and baking mine tomorrow.


I wish you all a
Glaedelig Lille Julaften!
-- Cass


  1. I miss my Mom too. Merry Christmas

  2. That was so interesting. I know what you mean Cass. There is nothing like the comfort of talking to mom (anytime). I miss my mom too. This will be 13 Christmases without her but I always feel her in the house as we celebrate. Enjoy your memories and have a wonderful Christmas. Hugs, Deb=^..^=x5

  3. Dear Cass,
    Glaedelig Lille Julaften to you! (and I admit, I cut and pasted that wonderful phrase from your post, because my Norway-speak isn't what it used to be and I was afraid of leaving off too many vowels, or putting too many in and causing me to wish you Happy Hotdog Day in the Sun~~smile~~) It's a wonderful thing to name this day, and to aspire for it to be the end of crazy-busyness before the special Eve day. My heart is open to you as you miss your mom, remembering laughter and sharing...what a precious gift to open. I have a feeling she would have loved That Old House and all the decorating you have done...remember, please, that your dear house understands and embraces you in all your moods.

    May you be smiling soon :-) Have a very Merry Christmas!

  4. My heart goes out to you Cass. No one compares to Mom. Glaedelig Lille Julaften to you.


  5. Somehow i have missed several of your posts....
    love the cow and the plates!
    You table looks great especially the garland.

    Mery Christmas!!

  6. I hope you have a Great Christmas and New year. I miss my Mom and it has been 10 years since she passed away. Takae care.

  7. Merry Christmas!!!

    I doubt if I ever had one stress free Christmas EVER - - - until this year.

    Funny thing - - - all my kids are grown and gone, wonder if that has anything to do with it!

    BTW - - - when you notice my blog post of yesterday, YOU will be interested to know our new DILTB is LUTHERAN!

  8. Glaedelig Lille Julaften to you too! Leave it to a Norse to figure out a new name!!! But what a great idea!!!

    I miss my Mom, too. It's been too many Christmases without her. This year we'll also be without my MIL -

    Enjoy baking your Julekake -- I've cookies to bake tomorrow and the weather here promises to be frightful (but our fire inside is so delightful!) so a good day to stay inside and bake!

  9. This is my first Christmas without my mom and I'm struggling. Thanks for sharing - it's comforting. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  10. this is my second Christmas with out my mom and it is very hard. But it is good to count blessing.
    Merry Christmas.

  11. Cass,

    I miss my mom, too. She died 10 years ago but has really been gone for 16 years. For some reason this year has been most difficult.

    I love the thought of serenity before Christmas. I personally never experienced it. Maybe this year but it is just the two of us so that probably doesn't count. We will visit family next week!

    I love the thought that Forever was your mother's pattern. I have seen some recently and if I find I cream soup spoon, I will pick one up.

    Have a wonderful holiday my friend.


  12. Merry Christmas Cass. I hope the spirit of Christmas can heal your aching heart. God Bless you and your family this Christmas! hugs-Diana

  13. i miss my mother AND your mother!

  14. Merry Christmas to you too, Cass. According to The Great Dane, I can offer you a Glaedelig Jul today, as tomorrow is officially the First Christmas Day.
    I hope your baking is delicious, your tree beautiful and your celebration a joyous one!

  15. My mom is still here but I miss all the things we used to do together. Thank you for reminding me of some I had forgotten. Have a Merry Christmas!!!

  16. I love all your red and green decorating...and the F&F dishes, what a find! Merry Christmas Cass, and may your 2011 be bright!

  17. I am 100% Swedish and wonder if the Swedes have a similar phrase. Thanks for a beautiful post. Took me back to my roots.

  18. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Cass!


  19. CAss...i'm lucky ...i'm spending my holidays with mom and dad....hubby and Mou... I wish you and your beautiful family a very merry Chistmas, hugs and blessings Flavia

  20. I LOVE this new word!!! I'm already adding it to my calendar for next year so I can celebrate with it!!!

  21. May your New Year be filled with many Blessings and abundances of Joy for 2011. From my mountain to yours, Until next year
    Hugs and Smiles Gl♥ria
    Love ya Cass...

  22. We've always called it Christmas Eve Eve.. :-) And, I loved the comment about young mothers and serenity before Christmas.... Can't imagine that happening for most, right?

    Warm blessings and Wishes for a Happy New Year....


  23. Yes, Missing our Mama's is very hard! Oh, but the memories keep us going!


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