Natalie: Thanksgiving & Juletid

December 1, 2010

Now I’m really getting antsy to come home. As the holiday lights begin to illuminate Oslo I am easily transported home as I stroll the streets. It isn’t until the Christmas carols are in Norwegian that I am reminded of how far I am from home.

This is how my first holiday away from my home and family went:
Thursday, just another Thursday, but thousands of miles away it’s Thanksgiving, a cherished tradition. Instead of waking up and watching the parade I headed to school early and studied the day away. For dinner I came home and made a bowl of spaghetti. Luckily, Jane and Kierstin had sent me a pumpkin pie so Jamie and I had a small celebration eating that. Afterwards, I skyped my family. They set a place for me at the table and I was able to “share” dinner with them.

Friday was actually the most homesick day for me. I felt really far away. I wanted to go shopping with Aunt Cathy and Hillarie! I even downloaded the black Friday ads. Finally on Saturday we celebrated Thanksgiving here. Jamie and I had a stock pile of American food, so we invited our closest friends and set out to prepare a feast. We started cooking at 10 am! I hosted my first Thanksgiving at the age of 19. Pretty impressive eh? We made enough pumpkin bars to feed and army and boiled 3 large pots of potatoes.

Magda was also in the kitchen with us making Perogi, polish sweet ravioli. MMMMmm.
At around 2 others started cooking and Frank came up to help us prepare. The Singaporean girls made corn flake cookies and the boys started the chickens… not Turkeys. The darn things were $60 for a 6 lb turkey! We also prepared bisquits, stuffing and gravy. I also made Daryl take the cranberries out of the can without mashing them. I like it when they look like a can.

I set the table. It was really difficult arranging a table in a very small kitchen for 25 people.

Around 5 everyone arrived. We had lasagna, Kung pow chicken, apple crisp, banana bread, brownies, cous cous, French fries, pepper kaker, perogi, and pancakes. Delicious feast if I do say so myself. Even being a little cramped, the night was simply magical. I have never seen a kitchen that looked so glamorous.

After everyone filled up Jamie and I made everyone play Turkey trivia with us. Everyone complained because they didn’t know anything about American history, but neither do we so hey. The most anyone got right was 6. Way to go Jon, from the Czech Republic. Later a couple of us retreated into the back room where we played some games and enjoyed each other’s company.

During that time someone came up with the brilliant idea that we should go out on the town. So after a busy day of baking we headed out into the -9 degree weather with less than adequate clothing on. We went to Bla, the jazz club we went to at the beginning of the year with the amazing chandelier. On the way home, 3 am, Karl Johan’s gate looked like it was about 3 in the afternoon. Hundreds of people were out walking the streets. I guess people don’t know when it’s day or night because… it is Always dark.

So, I’d like to thank all of the people who made my thanksgiving so magical. I am terrified that I only have one week left with you guys. You have made the biggest difference in my life. I will never forget any of you.

Sunday was pretty lazy, but in the evening we went down to the Christmas tree lighting at Universetetsplassen. The tree wasn’t exactly majestic, kind of straggly in fact. The mayor made a speech, they lit the tree and the children’s choir sang. Then to my surprise everyone present held hands and we danced around the Christmas tree to Norwegian carols, just like the Woos do in the Grinch. Wow! A beautiful moment if I do say so myself. I was all smiles. It was also snowing buckets. More snow than we’ve received all month.

This holiday season (Juletid) is getting off to a pretty amazing start!

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