Every year when Christmas is over and all the holiday decorations go on sale,
I buy a little lovely for next year as a small gift to myself.
(This year was a chandelier ornament to symbolize light.)
When I travel, I like to pick up an ornament that reminds me of the place I've just been.
This one came from Oslo when I visited family at Christmas there a few years ago.
Norway has some of the most beautiful (and interesting) Christmas traditions I've ever seen.
Besides eating Lutefisk and reindeer for the holiday (!), they also hold hands, form a circle, and dance and sing around the Christmas tree! I love that!
But THE most spectacular tradition in Norway that I find astonishingly gorgeous: every Christmas Eve at dusk (between 3-4pm in that part of the world in winter), everyone meets at the church and family graveyard where they light candles and place them at their beloved's gravesite. The churchbells ring promptly at 4:00 and there is nothing like the sight of a graveyard glowing in candlelight to the sweet chiming of church bells.
Truly, one of the loveliest sights I've ever witnessed.
This year we spent part of our Holiday with extended family in the Pacific NW.
Sharing good will, laughter and cheer (and Pistachio Rum Cake with chocolate ganache)
with family members for the first time was a delightful treat.