Posted by: annmucc | December 26, 2008

Christmas in Denmark…Christmas Eve

Unlike in Malta and the UK, in Denmark, the main Christmas celebrations are held on the 24th. So I arrived in Denmark just in time to join the family for Christmas celebrations.

First off was the Christmas service. MCA (and his family, as are most Danes) are Danish Protestants, so after having a small lunch, we made our way to the church at the bottom of their street. We arrived around 15mins before the service was about to start, but as would have happened in Malta, the church was practically full. However, we still managed to find a place at the top (like in what would probably be the choir area in Malta). From there we could not really see much, but we could still follow OK.

So what’s the difference between the Maltese (Catholic) Christmas mass and the Danish (Protestant) service? First off is the timing…in Malta we tend to go to midnight mass, but here we went to one in the early afternoon (there were 3 services and you choose one). Also, this was the first time that I attended a service where the priest was a woman! (This is not allowed in the Catholic church). [Aside 1]. Another difference was that I think they sing for a good portion of the service, unlike us (not singing the service, as in an ‘quddiesa kantata’, but singing songs). This could be because I wasn’t understanding? But I don’t think so! A similar thing though was the presence of the homily šŸ˜‰

After mass we returned to MCAs house. The first thing on the plan was the making of konfekt. This is sweets made of marzipan, which they make into stars, angels, rolls, round ball things, and for some reason mice! You then decorate them with chocolate and/or coconut flakes. I made mice, and then decided to TRY (trying being the key word ;)) a cat, which turned out to look more like Pokemon than a cat for some reason. We made this to later eat after the Christmas dinner.

Next…Christmas dinner…turkey and prune and apple stuffing, white and brown (caramelised) potatoes, red and white cabage and gravy…MMM…I particularly liked the white (boiled) potatoes, the white cabbage, and of course the turkey with gravy…MMMM! So they served the food, and I took one serving…After we ate that the men took the dishes back downstairs…GRRR I thought! I am still hungry…Didn’t take much of anything before to taste everything and be able to eat everything even if I didn’t like it O:)…A few minutes later…The men return with the dishes replenished…WOOOHOOO…So I got my good fill *GRIN*

Following the dinner is the dessert…which is ris alamande (rice pudding) with hot cherry sauce. In the ris alamande they also SHOULD put one whole nut…whoever gets it gets a gift (this year the gift was some puzzle cards MCA bought at the Science Museum, and Fundomino, a game I bought in London this week [since MCA had bought Carcassone for this, but then decided he wanted to keep it for himself :P]). Well – that is what SHOULD happen…this year, however, no one found the nut…so we ended up rolling dice for the gifts…Mogens (MCA’s sister’s bf) got the puzzle cards and Magnus (MCA’s nephew) got the Fundomino.

You may think…well, now you have had the dessert the night is over…but NOOOO! After the dessert there is dancing around the Christmas tree (YES! you heard well, dancing around the Christmas tree), where we (or mostly they, since I don’t know Danish carols :P) sung Christmas carols, and went round the Christmas tree holding hands. In Denmark they have a REAL Christmas tree, unlike our plastic one back home…they buy one each year around a week before Christmas (I think), get it into the house on the 23rd, and decorate it on the 23rd.

And then….and then….Gift giving! *GRIN*. IN MCAs family they are quite big with gift giving (not in the sense of expense, but in the sense of thoughtfulness, and keeping it a secret), unlike our family back home…I am sure I got more gifts in Denmark than I would have had back home (MCA will be sooo disappointed if he ever spends Christmas in Malta :P). The gifts are given by the youngest in the family picking up one gift from underneath the Christmas tree and delivering it to the owner, then the next youngest picks up the next gift, and so on and so forth, till all the gifts are given out (believe me, it took quite a while!)

So what did I get? I got shoes and 2 CDs from MCA (Teitur’s new CD, The Singer, and a double CD of the Greatest Love Songs O:)), a calendar from his nephew (of pictures of his nephew and the family…including me last year :P), a sweater and a scarf from his sister, and a thermos (never thought of buying one, but I am already thinking of how and when to use it, and of taking hot chocolate to university!), and a mobile phone pocket from his parents. It was great! FRom my side I gave MCA’s nephew a model of a London bus (last year I gave him a model of a Maltese bus, so I decided to uphold tradition), 3 teas to MCAs sister, ‘pasturi’ for his parents (they didn’t have a crib, so I gave them Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, a cow and a donkey, and the 3 wise men [luckily they all seemed to arrive whole from Malta to London and to Denmark, phewww!]). And to MCA? Well, the book I talked about in the previous post, a tie, some hangover coffee (cos I don’t tend to be AT ALL sympathetic when he has some slight hangover, so decided to put all my sympathy into that :P), and some Food Fest cards.

After that it was back to the dinner table for the evening coffee [and confekt], and where we played some Fundomino (I was impressed by MCAs nephew’s skills…he should be too young for the game according to the age group of the game, but after explaining the game to him once, he managed very well on his own [too well actually, he was too crafty I think, and I didn’t like that šŸ˜› cos I couldn’t win O:)). It was getting late then, so off to bed we went!

All in all, a very different Christmas to what I am used to (different day as well!), but a great one nonetheless…Thanks for having me Andersen family!

Aside 1: The priest is the mother (YES! they can get married!) of a friend of MCA when he was young, so the last time I was her we went to visit. Her husband is also a priest, and so very knowledgeable about the subject. So I spent the whole time thinking that the man was the village priest. But no! When we left MCA told me that the woman was the village priest, and the husband is there as her husband! WOW! I totally hadn’t realised :).



  1. […] means that I get to celebrate Christmas twice…once in Denmark and once in Malta. As last year we celebrated Christmas in Denmark this year it is Malta’s turn (wippeee!), so this weekend […]

  2. […] Christmas Tree Day The first (and only) Christmas I have spent in Denmark so far was in 2008, when I had arrived on the 24th itself. This meant that I didn’t get to experience much of […]

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