I'm of Norwegian extraction, but the closest I've come to "The North" is Norway, Kansas, where my mom grew up. I dream of seeing the moss, fjords, and aurora borealis for myself, and I got a tiny bit closer two years ago, when I was given the gift of A Norwegian Christmas..
I'm telling you, there is nothing better than curling up on the floor by the fire, surrounded by a snowy landscape (Illinois is not Norway, but it still rocks some sparkly snow), reading a pile of books about Scandinavia. Collected at antique stores, thrift stores, and online, my gift included Time Life's The Cooking of Scandinavia (which has a Christmas section), Christmas in Scandinavia, two books of Norwegian folk and fairy tales, the charming hand-stapled Aunt Hildur's Best Recipes, the James Beard Award-winning The Great Scandinavian Baking Book, and a jersey from the Norwegian women's soccer team. Earlier, I should have said, "there's nothing better than curling up on the floor by the fire wearing a Norwegian soccer jersey"!
If I can't spend Christmas in Norway, the next best thing is having Christmas in Norway brought to me — with bonus sunlight! Has anyone ever given you a winter wonderland sort of gift? Maybe rented a snow machine like on Modern Family last year, or built you an ice rink like on Gilmore Girls? Have you ever made wintry magic happen for someone on your gift list?
(Photo: Tess Wilson)