Today I want to share my last year’s memories from our trip to Drøbak. It is a town where Santa Claus (julenisse) has his official address in Norway. The town has the post office of Santa Claus that takes itself of all letters addressed to him. As the year is closing by, I wish I could send a thank-you note to Santa Claus (with a wish list attached), but right now my energy is just enough to share those images and memories. Trying to keep up my humor in December turned out to be more difficult than I imagined. As we entered the darkest week of the year, I found myself lying flat with the flu and fever, and I can’t remember the last time I felt so bad. Though the previous week was full of positive events, I always find it so difficult to think positive in the time of sickness.
It feels so natural to go on listing my trials and tribulations in this darkest of all seasons (and the concept of that famous Scandinavian happiness doesn’t help), but I want to act by the principle: “Share your strengths, not your weaknesses”. I am sure, everyone out there can come up with his list of sorrows swiftly – but what do we gain if we stay in that place? I have lived in the place of self-pity for years. In the story of my life I saw myself as a poor Cinderella working hard and waiting for the destiny to reward me for all my sorrows. Until I came to realize that the only hero who could save me was me myself. And I could do that by changing the story I am telling myself. That the world is not going to rush to my help like a mom to her baby when the baby is whining and crying. That complaining isn’t effective. But that acting inside my borders and my possibilities can change my life and give me energy. One step at a time, one story at a time.
In these dark days, when there is almost no daylight, when the night is longer than day, I want to look forward to the lighter times. I turn to my memories. And to my hopes. Research says that having something to look forward to can boost our happiness. Right now I am looking forward to these things:
- 21st of December when the sun will turn
- New Year and its freshness (in my home country Ukraine the biggest holiday of the year is New Year, not Christmas. Christmas is celebrated not in December, but in January, according to the Orthodox tradition. But in Soviet Union the religious holidays became neglected, so everything moved to New Year: the tree, the decorations, the presents. And in a way, I love the energy of New Year more than that of Christmas. Christmas is cozy, but it can be so exclusive, with all those families locked in their homes for three days, and the outsiders kept away. Being a foreigner in Norway it has always been a quest to find someone to spend Christmas with, otherwise it is too depressing to spend it alone. New Year is not exclusively about family. You can meet it with your family, or friends, or both – start with a family, then go to your friends. There are people on the streets, fireworks, action. It is not a private fest, where you feel like peeping through the window when you are not invited).
- I bought a ticket to the concert of Enrique Iglesias in Oslo, happening in March. And I am so excited! Enrique has been my sex symbol since I was 17. Already then I realized that I like more dark-eyed Latino types than the blond and blue-eyed ones. Wonder why I ended up with a man born in Mediterranean? 🙂
But back to the point of the post – the town of Santa Claus. Excuse me for the mess in my (recovering from the flu) head and the failing logic of this post. I am trying my best, and in this condition this is how it looks like 🙂
Drøbak is a tiny town (or is it a village?) which has a pretty big Christmas shop, Santa Claus’ post office, and a couple of cafes where it was difficult to find a vacant seat on a December Sunday. It also has a nice view of the fjord, islands and ferries.
The streets of Santa Claus’ town, creating the Christmas mood
The sunset came early, as it happens in December in this area, and had lovely pink and purple tones, which even colored the sidewalks. My camera was catching those colors better than my eyes. Then, as we were driving out of the town, we stopped the car by the fjord, I jumped out with my camera and caught that fabulous color game.
And then something curious happened. Can you see two lights on the water in the photo below? I thought it was a reflection of the lamps from somewhere, but it still looked strange.
And before I could say Oh, this guy emerged in the sunset waters…
Diving in December? In the cold water of Norwegian fjord? Well well, the locals and their hobbies. At least, not everyone is sitting around the fireplace drinking hot chocolate with ginger cookies (or what is the stereotype of Norwegian time-spending in winter?).
Drøbak, you were nice, but next time I would prefer to see you in summer, without biting cold and overcrowded cafes, and nothing else to do 🙂
Have you started you correspondence with Santa Claus yet? Do you have some writing rituals around this time? Summing up the year, New Year resolutions, letters to Santa Claus? Hope, you all have a pleasant pre-Christmas time!