I’ve had a very good time reading this book, Keeping Christmas, by Kathleen Stokker, and learning about the Christmas traditions in Norway! It fit in perfectly with my Norway series, which I am about to start up again, since we’re not through Norway just yet! The book begins with the link between Viking customs and the Norwegian customs of today. It then goes on to show how the customs have changed (or not) and how the customs were celebrated once Norwegians came to America. It made for a very interesting read and I did several posts on my findings!
There seemed to be a definite uptick in interest in Norway this year. Even our Advent Calendar was focused on Norway and the Scandinavian countries. It is a fabulous country!
I then turned to another book……The title caught my attention……..it was, “I Couldn’t Milk Another Goat,” by Carrie Kirkeeide Thorson and her grandson, Paul Stephen Arneson. Since we had been to some of the goat farms in Norway during our trip, I felt I knew where she was coming from! It starts when she is still a young girl in Norway on the farm and then moves on to her immigration to the United States in 1904 and then on to her life in the US, until she died in 1974. The book was published in 2020 by her grandson. There were so many interesting things about this book. First, Carrie had a great mind right up to the day she died. Her grandson started taping interviews with her many years before she died. She remembered everything, but I think that was due to her saving ANYTHING that interested her, from letters to newspapers. She was interested in many things and she was very involved in her new community. It was good to read first hand, why she came to the US, her family life in Norway and how she got on once she got here. The other thing I quite liked about the book (I read it on my Kindle) was that Paul had placed different videos, commentary or any other information that could be linked to what Carrie was talking about, in the chapters following Carrie’ s descriptions. There were many photos of the family over the years. I always like those, because it amazes me how the women looked about 75, when they were in their 30’s! When she had clipped an article from the newspaper or talked about a particular event in her life (for example when she attended the Norwegian exhibit at the World’s Fair) there was an attachment of a video of that World’s Fair, so you could get an idea of what she saw. When she talked about FDR’s fireside chats and what they meant to her, you could see and hear a video of one of those too. So, if you love history, a good read (she had many hardships and triumphs) and visuals too, this would be an interesting read for you! It’s a very personal book, with a lot of history thrown in!
Then as we were scoping out movies on Netflix on Christmas Eve, we came upon Hjem for Jul (Home for Christmas) We thought it was a movie but no, it’s a series! It was very entertaining and if you ever wonder what life can be like in Norway (especially for the young folks) and at Christmas, have a go at this series! It covers all the cultural problems and differences, that we all share and reveals their customs at Christmas too! So that wraps up my reading and entertainment for the year! See you soon!