christmas with the thorntons

Monday, December 23, 2013

I wanted to start off the Christmas week with a guest post from Kendra Thornton ((Hello to all visiting from her twitter! I hope you follow the blog and enjoy what you read)). You can check out more about her, here

It’s already the time of the year when all music seems to have some sort of magical tune. The holiday buzz is rapidly building, and people are looking forward to spending time with their family. It would be hard to find anyone who is not thinking about all of the great gifts that will be under their Christmas tree. Anyone who lives in Chicago knows that it’s pretty much always what most people would consider a winter wonderland. In fact, Chicago is always filled with plenty of fun and excitement. I love celebrating the holidays with my family, and every year, we have our own special traditions that we follow. Our heritage is filled with good drinks and food because my side of the family is Norwegian.

It’s not hard to find us making kringla and lefse together. When Christmas finally arrives, our family’s tradition involves shooting a raw oyster down our throats. We all eat a raw oyster simultaneously. After all of the activities, we enjoy sitting and chatting, and it would be hard to find any member of our family who doesn’t get plenty of laughter. After we get done with the oyster tradition, we eat a delicious, warm bowl of oyster stew, and later, the entire family makes a toast with a shot of some Akvavit, which is a Scandinavian spirit that burns as it makes its way into our bellies. The Norwegian way to say cheers is Skol, and we love to shout this word. 

During the holidays, my kids love to skate on ice, and they also enjoy decorating the tree, which is positioned in our bay window. My kids also enjoy baking our traditional Norwegian dinner. My kids also like to garnish the cookies that we leave out for Santa. We also enjoy our tradition of getting cozy with some hot chocolate. Another tradition that we’re proud of involves making reindeer dust and carefully sprinkling the dust outside the windows. The belief is that the reindeer dust makes it easier for Santa’s reindeers to find our house.

My former job enabled me to travel all over the globe, but I really enjoy being able to stay home for the holidays. Honestly, there is no way I would be able to spend my Christmas without family. I love the feeling of enjoying the beautiful white snow while surrounded by family. I’ve actually read an article on Gogobot, and the article discussed warm vs. white holidays. I’ve actually visited a number of warm climates, but they simply cannot do Christmas justice the way that I would like. To be honest, I don’t think I could ever exchange the evergreen trees, skates and white snow for rollerblades, palm trees and sand. I’m wondering what your hometown is like when the holidays arrive.

All I really know is the cold Christmas. However, a cold Christmas works well for the Thornton family. This year, we’re quite fortunate to be able to stay inside with relatives. I really hope your holiday season is packed with people you love, plenty of laughing and scrumptious foods. The Thornton family wishes you happy holidays.

I am so glad that Kendra reached out to me about doing this guest post! My family is from Chicago, and it truly is one of the best places to have a white Christmas at. Being Polish, I can also relate to the food and drinks that are traditionally celebrated on Christmas. And having their Christmas tree in a big, bay window?? My aunt and uncle do that and I swear, that image from the front of their house with feet of snow is still the perfect image of Christmas in my mind, ever since I was a little girl. 

Does anyone else have fun Christmas traditions your family celebrates with each year? I'd love to hear about them! Thank you, again, for your post, Kendra!

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