27 December 2005

Immigrant Christmas

Yep, we’re the ones with the Ice-flags trimming our Icelandic grown Christmas tree. It’s strange to have a holiday that is so family-oriented in a place where you don’t have any, but some great things came out of being among the unattached. At times it did feel like we were borrowing atmosphere from other people’s celebrations, but it has really amazed me how generous people can be, even when they barely know you. We had coffee on Saturday with one family, dinner with another, and then spent Sunday afternoon through Monday at a cabin with Færoese A and her Danish friends, similarly family-less.

J and I had planned to open things American Style on Christmas morning, but with an absence of an actual morning (the sun is still not showing until round about noon) it seemed kind of pointless after we had opened our stockings on the evening of the 24th. So, like good immigrants, we adopted the custom of the country and opened everything in the inky darkness of Saturday night. Although the charm of coming downstairs in the morning to gifts magically appearing doesn’t happen with this method, the lights on the tree are more magical looking in the dark, and plus, everyone else is doing it.

It’s strange how when the holiday is completely different from what it has always been, it brings back memories of so many other permutations of the season from my childhood. I remember being in grade school when it always seemed to be crystalline-cold and full of snow, when we drove to the school holiday concert in the country darkness, then came home afterward and made trays and trays of sugar cookies. I remember going on tree-hunting trips with my brothers, finding the perfect tree by flashlight and then having to figure out how to fit it in the house, and going to the white-steepled church for Christmas eve services when we all lit candles together. There are so many things that have made Christmas Christmas my whole life, many of which don’t happen anymore, and some of which have managed to continue even to this new land.

Ship sighting: I did a little photo shoot on Friday of the boats in the harbor, since most of the big fishing ships that were planning to stay the weekend were decked out with holiday lights. In first berth is Engey (still NOT in skipaskra, ladies and gentlemen) and I am still astounded by the size of that thing. It towers over Hamborgara Bullan like some kind of skyscraper. It also had been trimmed in the three-yellow-three-red lights that seem to be de rigeur for Reykjavik fishing boats, but some of them were a little worse for the wear after the 60mph winds this morning.

1 comment:

The Prima said...

I want to see photos. If not on this site, maybe somewhere else?