Christmas as an expat

It’s my fifth year of coming back home for Christmas and even though I’ve never spent Christmas day in Trondheim, I’ve lived here long enough to experience true Norwegian Christmas. Now, it’s all a mix in my mind, Greek and Norwegian traditions.

On celebration

Celebration, for me, is time spent with loved ones, making delicious food late at night, putting on a sparkly dress, fancy make up and high heels, drinking something special and making super loving toasts.

On Norwegian Christmas traditions

My favorite Norwegian Christmas traditions are julebord, baking gingerbread cookies and advent calendars. These are things that I never used to do in Greece. And while I still love, unboxing Christmas decorations, putting up a Christmas tree and singing Christmas songs while cooking dinner, these new traditions have gained a soft spot in my heart. Another good one is hanging Christmas stars on the windows. They make the whole country look festive.

On the one tradition I want to bring
to my own family’s Christmas celebration

My favorite part from a true Norwegian celebration is the part where after dinner, someone thanks for the food. The practice of giving a “takk for mat” (thanks for the food) speech is not something we do in my family, but it’s such a loving tradition. Acknowledging all the hard work that is involved in preparing a festive dinner (or any dinner for that matter) is the simplest way to show some love.

Oh, soon it’s Christmas once more…

Leave a comment


  1. Stefania

     /  December 16, 2016


  2. Christmas looks so gorgeous there! I know what you mean about adopting new Christmas traditions from your host country 🙂

  3. pretty photos! I want some snow:) nice traditions:)

  4. Wonderful! Hope you have a joy filled time with family.

  5. What a pretty place!! These picture are wonderful!! They have so different traditions from us but they are lovely!! Especially when they “thank” for the food prepared, we have never done it… Have the best Christmas Joanna!! xo from Greece 🙂

    • I know! I really feel it makes the dinner much cozier! Even though sometimes the speaches are too long and too boring.

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