The kids had a blast jumping in the hayloft:
And Julenissen (literally "The Christmas Elf," the Norwegian name for Santa Clause) even showed up and gave all the kids chocolate bars:
On Christmas Eve (the big day for celebrating Christmas in Norway) I made caramel rolls from scratch for breakfast. They were delicious and beautiful and (as I'm not the most accomplished baker) I really impressed myself and my whole family. Here is a link to the recipe, just in case you want to impress yourself and your family.
I tried to celebrate like a real Norwegian by making risgrøt (rice porridge) with an almond in it for lunch. Sergio was the one who found the almond and won the marzipan pig. Jonah and Oscar (as you can see below) did not think this was fair:
Davin made our Christmas Eve dinner. The kids helped him plan the menu. The ham, scalloped potatoes, asparagus, and rolls were Davin's idea. The boys came up with the macaroni and cheese, buttered spaghetti noodles, pears, carrots, and chocolate. Look how beautiful it was:
After dinner, Julenissen really did bring presents to the door, just like we'd heard he would. He was, however, wearing a mask, which led Oscar to speculate that maybe he wasn't the real Santa, just a really nice man who likes making people happy and doesn't have any kids of his own. In any case, Oscar thought it was really great of him to bring them presents.
Sergio has been saying for weeks that Santa was going to bring him an "oransje" cake for Christmas. He's obsessed with the color orange, and oransje (pronounced "oh-RAHNJ") is the Norwegian word for it. His plan was that we would put a candle on the oransje cake and sing "Happy Christmas to you / Happy Christmas to you / Happy Christmas, Dear Sergie / Happy Christmas to you!" And what do you know? It happened just like that. He kept squealing, "Just what I wanted!"
|Sergie with the oransje cake Julenissen brought him (and sporting face paint, also compliments of Julenissen)|
Below is a picture of me in front of our Christmas tree. I'm including it because I'm a little over eight months pregnant now and I've been getting requests for photos that show my belly.
|Me, 36-and-a-half Weeks Pregnant|
Here are my favorite ornaments from our tree--the Santa ornament was made by Oscar, Jonah made the "gingerbread gentleman" (complete with top hat and cane), and the last one is a tin of liver paste:
On Christmas day, the kids opened their stockings, we went to Mass, and we gave each other our gifts. Then we spent the day relaxing and playing with the new toys. In fact, the kids don't have school this week, so that's how we've been spending most of every day since then as well. We've been doing things like playing with Play-Doh, playing way more Super Mario Bros. than I approve of, and building elaborate courses for Hex Bugs (a super fun toy that arrived in an amazing package full of gifts from my family in MN):
|Hex Bug Course - First Bug to Find its Way out Wins!|
I hope all of you are enjoying this Holiday Season as much as we are. We wish you Love, Peace, and Joy.