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December Traditions . God Jul!

Updated: Jul 24, 2021

Growing up in Minnesota, as a young girl, Christmas time was always a bright moment to celebrate during the long winter season. My family's Norwegian Christmas traditions were what made the season bright. Central to the Norwegian way of life is the idea of koselig (koosh-lee). Koselig means multiple things, but the primary idea is the feeling of drinking hot chocolate beside a warm fire with friends and family after coming in from the cold nordic winter.

This sense of community, belonging and warmth is something we all crave. Sharing the things that make us feel good with the people who make us feel good is koselig. It is a celebration of finding joy, happiness, and warmth from others in spite of a turbulent world. This holiday season we hope you find Koselig and wish you and yours God Jul!

Photography @bonniesenphotography | @sarahporterphotos | @enjouestudio

My family's proud Norwegian traditions have been passed down for generations. Our holidays have also been centered around baking and treats. My grandmother and mom would follow the Norwegian tradition of baking seven kinds of cookies. We would go to Scandinavian markets to purchase Lefse and lingonberry jam, a treat that my great-grandmother would lovingly make for us. Also, during the holidays there were fried flower-shaped rosette cookies dusted in powdered sugar. Delicate krumkake grilled on intricate irons filled with whipped cream and strawberries. However, the most special of all was Kransekake. A cookie ring tower, with a champagne bottle inside, made for weddings and family Christmas celebrations. In the tribute of sharing traditions, we have included a family cookie favorite below to warm up your kitchen and home. As my grandmother would say, with a plate full of cookies on the table and a warm pot of coffee, "Var Sa God!" in Norwegian "Help Yourself!"


Orange Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cup white sugar

3 sticks of butter

2 egg (beaten)

1 Tbsp orange extract

4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp salt


Cream butter and sugar; add egg and orange extract. Sift flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Blend with a mixer or wooden spoon. Roll in balls and press with a fork or roll and cut into shapes. To decorate, sprinkle with sugar crystals before baking, or drizzle melted chocolate on top after baked and cooled. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.


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