Tag Archives: Christmas cheer

Christmas Cheer Wrap-up / Feedback Request

Below is a quick rundown of the Christmas Cheer blog posts.I am trying to think of some new themes to write about in the coming months. Do you have any ideas? Any suggestions or requests? As I mentioned in an earlier post (here), I want to be more open about the struggles I face, whether that be as a mom, a wife, an expat, or from another facet of life. So from time to time I will be sharing things along those lines. But are there other topics that might be of interest? Let me know!

Christmas Cheer Blog Posts:

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2: Oslo
  3. Part 3: Decorated Trees
  4. Part 4: Sandefjord Corner Boutique
  5. Part 5: Coca-Cola Santa
  6. Part 6: Christmas in Jail?
  7. Part 7: Santa’s little helpers
  8. Part 8: Nisser on our cups
  9. Part 9: Jul med Ika
  10. Part 10: Stars
  11. Part 11: Knitting Christmas
  12. Part 12: Christmas Music
  13. Part 13: Bergen Windows
  14. Part 14: White Christmas
  15. Part 15: Bryggen i Bergen
  16. Part 16: Early Christmas
  17. Part 17: A bit more of Oslo
  18. Part 18: Quick and Easy Craft
  19. Part 19: Sometimes it’s Tough
  20. Merry Christmas from Sandefjord

Christmas Cheer (part 19): Sometimes it’s tough

Christmas 2012 was our first outside of Georgia. We were living in Vancouver at the time. Thankfully we had quite a few good friends around and it made things much easier.

Christmas 2013 was our first in Norway. Everything was new and it was cool to learn about the traditions. And to be honest, Zack’s horrible stomach flu made it hard to think too much about what we were missing.
But for whatever reason, our third Christmas away from the states seems to have hit us harder.
I hope this doesn’t come off as ungrateful. We are very happy here. We have good friends. We feel at home. We’ve been invited to a variety of activities and get-togethers during the holidays. We are attempting to make some of our own traditions. And we have really had a lot of fun the past few weeks. But some days are just harder than others. And the holidays can hit pretty hard.
Thankfully, we had a plan in place. We’ve learned that scheduling a trip just after Christmas works wonders. It provides a nice family gift without cluttering the house with things that are quickly forgotten. It gives us something to look forward to. And it minimizes the post-holidays blues (that seem to intensifying overseas). So we looked for the cheapest tickets and that is the main parties of our gift to each other as a family. Last year was Paris, and this year we ended up in Budapest. (Crazy as it sounds, it is almost always a good bit cheaper for us to fly to another country than to vacation somewhere in our country!)Weare currently enjoying a week of rest and relaxation, including time with some US friends we hadn’t seen in a long time. And lots of Mexican food, something we can’t get in Norway. In fact, we went out for Mexican food the last three nights!

Here are a few photos of our time here so far. I’ll share more in the coming days.









God Jul fra Sandefjord / Merry Christmas from Sandefjord!

Merry Christmas
from the Dove family!



Luke 2:8-20
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Christmas Cheer (part 18): quick and easy craft

We recently attended a Christmas craft evening at one of the churches in our city. It was a lot of fun, making things nr singing songs together, and just generally getting into the Christmas spirit.

My favorite project of the night is one you could probably do today, without even making a trip to the store.
All you need is:
One empty and cleaned glass jar (we used jars from jam and from pickles)
One egg white
Granulated sugar (we tried regular and coarse sugar, but you could probably used other types like raw)
Random decorative items (ribbon, stickers, pine twigs)

Make sure the jar is clean and dry. Crack the egg into a clean glass. Discard the yolk. Coat the inside of your jar with the egg white, then pour it back into the glass (you can use it for multiple jars).

Now pour some sugar in the jar. Roll it around to coat it well, then dump the excess.
Decorate the outside however you’d like, and add a tea light or other small candle.
A quick and easy craft, and when you’re tired of it, just wash it out!
We also made these cute tea light covers, using napkins and laminating sheets.


Christmas Cheer (part 17): A bit more of Oslo

We spent a few hours in Oslo this past week. I always love Oslo. But at Christmas time, and in the evening? Yeah, it’s pretty awesome.











Christmas Cheer (part 16): Early Christmas

While my dad and his wife were here, we had an early Christmas celebration together.So Saturday evening, we began with a nice dinner (who wouldn’t want to eat salmon while in Norway?!), and then exchanged gifts. It was a fun evening, and a nice way to spend our last night before they headed back to the states.






Christmas Cheer (part 15): Bryggen i Bergen / the pier in Bergen

There are so many picturesque spots in Norway. And perhaps one of the most well-known is the pier/brygge in Bergen. I was so excited to finally see it in person this week. (Read more HERE)The buildings are beautiful, and the pictures just don’t do the area justice. It is incredible to see how they lean towards each other and towards the water. Here are just a few shots from our time there earlier this week.












Christmas Cheer (part 13): Bergen windows

My (Jenn’s) dad and his wife are here for the week. So while they are visiting, we decided to take a quick trip to Bergen. We flew there Tuesday morning, and then took the train back home on Wednesday.

What a cool city, and especially at Christmas. Of course, I loved checking out the window displays!






Christmas Cheer (part 14): White Christmas

While it doesn’t look like it will be white on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, we have had a little bit of snow to enjoy this week.

We were especially surprised to arrive in Bergen and see snow everywhere. And our evening in Oslo included a bit of snow as well. Is it just me or do Christmas lights look even nicer when there’s snow?

Atop Fløyen in Bergen
Daniel watching the ice skaters in Oslo


A snow-ice castle in Oslo


On the train from Bergen back home

Beautiful snow-covered branches just outside the palace in Oslo


Christmas Cheer (part 12): Christmas music

Last night we had the rare occurrence of an evening out without children. A couple of our friends bought tickets for the four of us to a concert, as a combined birthday/Christmas gift to Zack and me.

I had no expectations going into the concert, as I knew nothing more than the show was Hanne og tre tenorer (Hanne and three tenors). But it was an incredible concert. So much talent, wonderful music, and an overall beautiful performance.

Thankful for good friends, good music, and a great evening that really got us in the Christmas spirit!