It’s the first day of December, and happily, also the first Sunday in Advent. Candles are a much bigger part of Christmas here in Norway than they were in the UK. Every supermarket has its candle section, usually with a large array of coloured and scented candles. They are there all year, but when November comes around, suddenly all the shops are also filled with the purple candles that are traditionally used in the advent crown. In schools (including the Opplæring Senter where I sat my Norwegian course) they have an advent crown where they light the new candle each week. Anyway, I fear I have broken with tradition, and have used white candles because I prefer them.
I also love the gjenbrukt shops here. Gjenbrukt effectively means second-hand, though the Norwegian name literally translates as “again used”. They have massive collections of second-hand decorations. Last year I found the “God Jul” table mat in the picture above for only 30kr (roughly £3). There were metres of it, so now I have enough for the coffee table and the main dining table, though I did have to cut it up and hem it. This year I found a large glass platter, which I have used to make this decoration.
Last but not least, Charlie (wonderful husband that he is) brought me back a Thornton’s Continental Advent calendar, so in a minute or two, when he makes me my evening (decaff) latte, I will be able to open the first door. A very pleasant end to the evening.