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Danish Canadian Museum Advent Calendar December 22nd

Christmas Traditions that create some wonderful memories.

The smallest of traditions can create the biggest of impacts!! Games and get togethers always create fond memories and a healthy happy good time.

Julefrokost: a must-go Christmas lunch

Some weeks before Christmas, every person in Denmark receives an email with an invitation to the year’s Julefrokost, which translates to Christmas Lunch. This invitation can be from friends, relatives, or colleagues. Most Danes love this tradition and make sure to never miss it. Plus, in some cases, refusing to attend Julefrokost is considered impolite. It should be noted that this tradition is also popular in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries.

Roll a six with a dice and get an extra present

Pakkeleg is a quite famous Christmas game and is usually played among family members at Christmas dinner or at the work’s Julefrokost. The main rule is that everyone has to bring a small and cheap gift that will be placed along with the rest in the middle of the table. The rest is based on luck. Each participant has a dice and whoever rolls a six can take a present from the pile. When all the presents are “distributed” the game continues for five minutes, only this time whenever someone rolls a 6, they can take another participant’s gift. After these last five minutes, some will leave empty handed while others will leave with their bag full of goodies.


I have recently read the book “the art of making memories.” By Mike Meik’s

Perhaps that’s the reason for this weeks Advent Calendar. I found the idea of actively practicing the “Art of creating memories.” to be a life practice valuable enough to add to my life.

There are many things that trigger memories, smell, sounds, taste, pictures, touch. All of our senses can trigger a memory. To myself I naturally went to Christmas, every sense is triggered at Christmas, the smells of trees, wood burning, Glogg on the stove, baking in the oven. The songs, a song by Alabama “Thistle hair the Christmas Bear”, brings me back to when I was 10 years old every time the first time I heard the song. The feeling of a soft fuzzy pj (with feet) brings me back to my earliest Christmas when mom made us onsies with slippers (that were slippery) for Christmas. A big Silver mix bowl! I mean BIG, we didn’t have stockings mom didn’t like the idea of shoes or dirty socks to put something you eat in. So we would create a big square in the living with four chairs back to back and big metal bowls (mom was a baker and ran a catering company as well) on them!! I remember the first year we came up with it!! I was Sooooo excited that Santa would fill that bowl! Holy smokes! I remember the first and ONLY time my mother wrapped gifts under the tree, I was 7, yeah the presents were to much for my sister and I to wait! We snuck them open and tried to close them, we were busted. She never did it again.

The strongest memories are the ones that were something new, and the ones I’ve repeated every year those have become our family traditions.

The food! Food is a ultimate trigger, the taste of certain cuisine will take me back in a instant. This is something I strive for in the Museum cafe, if I can trigger a memory I’ve successfully completed a dish. Or if it’s a new creation and someone comes back repeatedly to have that meal and we’ve created that memory is always a huge success.

Struggling creates memories, we as humans always want to win, or things to be easy, yet in my life I don’t remember the wins unless it was long hard fought win. We remember what we have work for. Not what’s just easy, I’m curious if that’s why some of our people have so much unhappiness now. If happiness is a memory and we need specific circumstances or situations, experience to create them, easy will never create happiness. Celebrating hard won will, as well as the abilities to appreciate every aspect of the journey. Interestingly enough that is my definition of “Hygge”. "actively celebrating and appreciating the simplest of activities that so you feel safe and content." I know that this is my definition of this word I have come across many and people who just feel it with no words. This is just one that I am sharing.

New memories are things I change, new experiences, appreciated items or action. The more of the impact on yourself and others the stronger the memory, If you have just survived a accident or completed a monumental task that seemed impossible those memories last. Just like the day I said good bye to my father, that day has never left me. Just like all of my favorite memories and Christmas's with him I still have, he loved Christmas and shared that love with me.


a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

Nostalgia brings one back to moments that have been created in ones mind, it’s the stronghold that keeps people grounded, safe in light, love and joy.

Happy memories are essential to our mental health. They strengthen our identity, sense of purpose and relationships.


This is why I have chosen this often over looked little story, It's all about the qualities of a wonderful full life and the memories.

The Old street lamp was written in a Christmas book dedicated to Charles Dickens from Hans Christian Andersen. Hans and Dicken's were very good friends for many many years. The stories Hans complied in the Christmas book dedicated to Dicken's are all interestingly about life qualities, this story is about a quality life, and the how beautiful memories are and how they can inspire and comfort people.

Old street lamp" by Hans Christian Andersen is definitely worth reading, it contains a lot of kindness, love and chastity, which is useful for raising a young individual.


Have you heard the story about the old street lamp? It is not so very amusing, but one may very well hear it once. It was such a decent old street-lamp, that had done its duty for many, many years, but now it was to be condemned. It was the last evening,—it sat there on the post and lighted the street; and it was in just such a humor as an old figurante in a ballet, who dances for the last evening, and knows that she is to be put on the shelf to-morrow. The lamp had such a fear of the coming day, for it knew that it should then be carried to the town-hall for the first time, and examined by the authorities of the city, who should decide if it could be used or not. It would then be determined whether it should be sent out to one of the suburbs, or in to the country to a manufactory; perhaps it would be sent direct to the iron founder's and be re-cast; in that case it could certainly be all sorts of things: but it pained it not to know whether it would then retain the remembrance of its having been a street-lamp.

However it might be, whether it went into the country or not, it would be separated from the watchman and his wife, whom it regarded as its family. It became a street-lamp when he became watchman. His wife was a very fine woman at that time; it was only in the evening when she went past the lamp that she looked at it, but never in the daytime. Now, on the contrary, of late years, as they had all three grown old,—the watchman, his wife, and the lamp,—the wife had always attended to it, polished it up, and put oil in it. They were honest folks that married couple, they had not cheated the lamp of a single drop. It was its last evening in the street, and to-morrow it was to be taken to the town-hall; these were two dark thoughts in the lamp, and so one can know how it burnt. But other thoughts also passed through it; there was so much it had seen, so much it had a desire for, perhaps just as much as the whole of the city authorities; but it didn't say so, for it was a well-behaved old lamp—it would not insult any one, least of all its superiors. It remembered so much, and now and then the flames within it blazed up,—it was as if it had a feeling of—yes, they will also remember me! There was now that handsome young man—but that is many years since,—he came with a letter, it was on rose-colored paper; so fine—so fine! and with a gilt edge; it was so neatly written, it was a lady's hand; he read it twice, and he kissed it, and he looked up to me with his two bright eyes—they said, "I am the happiest of men!" Yes, only he and I knew what stood in that first letter from his beloved.

I also remember two other eyes—it is strange how one's thoughts fly about!—there was a grand funeral here in the street, the beautiful young wife lay in the coffin on the velvet-covered funeral car; there were so many flowers and wreaths, there were so many torches burning, that I was quite forgotten—out of sight; the whole footpath was filled with persons; they all followed in the procession; but when the torches were out of sight, and I looked about, there stood one who leaned against my post and wept. I shall never forget those two sorrowful eyes that looked into me. Thus there passed many thoughts through the old street-lamp, which this evening burnt for the last time. The sentinel who is relieved from his post knows his successor, and can say a few words to him, but the lamp knew not its successor; and yet it could have given him a hint about rain and drizzle, and how far the moon shone on the footpath, and from what corner the wind blew.

Now, there stood three on the kerb-stone; they had presented themselves before the lamp, because they thought it was the street-lamp who gave away the office; the one of these three was a herring's head, for it shines in the dark, and it thought that it could be of great service, and a real saving of oil, if it came to be placed on the lamp-post. The other was a piece of touchwood, which also shines, and always more than a stock-fish; besides, it said so itself, it was the last piece of a tree that had once been the pride of the forest. The third was a glow-worm; but where it had come from the lamp could not imagine; but the glow-worm was there, and it also shone, but the touchwood and the herring's head took their oaths that it only shone at certain times, and therefore it could never be taken into consideration.

The old lamp said that none of them shone well enough to be a street-lamp; but not one of them thought so; and as they heard that it was not the lamp itself that gave away the office, they said that it was a very happy thing, for that it was too infirm and broken down to be able to choose.

At the same moment the wind came from the street corner, it whistled through the cowl of the old lamp, and said to it, "What is it that I hear, are you going away to-morrow? Is it the last evening I shall meet you here? Then you shall have a present!—now I will blow up your brain-box so that you shall not only remember, clearly and distinctly, what you have seen and heard, but when anything is told or read in your presence, you shall be so clear-headed that you will also see it."

"That is certainly much!" said the old street-lamp; "I thank you much; if I be only not re-cast."

"It will not happen yet awhile," said the wind; "and now I will blow up your memory; if you get more presents than that you may have quite a pleasant old age."

"If I be only not re-cast," said the lamp; "or can you then assure me my memory?"

"Old lamp, be reasonable!" said the wind, and then it blew. The moon came forth at the same time. "What do you give?" asked the wind.

"I give nothing!" said the moon; "I am waning, and the lamps have never shone for me, but I have shone for the lamps."* So the moon went behind the clouds again, for it would not be plagued. A drop of rain then fell straight down on the lamp's cowl, it was like a drop of water from the eaves, but the drop said that it came from the grey clouds, and was also a present,—-and perhaps the best of all. "I penetrate into you, so that you have the power, if you wish it, in one night to pass over to rust, so that you may fall in pieces and become dust." But the lamp thought this was a poor present, and the wind thought the same. "Is there no better—is there no better?" it whistled, as loud as it could. A shooting-star then fell, it shone in a long stripe.

* It is the custom in Denmark, and one deserving the severest censure, that, on those nights in which the moon shines; or, according to almanac authority, ought to shine, the street lamps are not lighted; so that, as it too frequently happens, when the moon is overclouded, or on rainy evenings when she is totally obscured, the streets are for the most part in perfect darkness. This petty economy is called "the magistrates' light," they having the direction of the lighting, paving, and cleansing of towns.

The same management may be met with in some other countries besides Denmark.

"What was that?" exclaimed the herring's head; "did not a star fall right down? I think it went into the lamp! Well, if persons who stand so high seek the office, we may as well take ourselves off."

And it did so, and the others did so too; but the old lamp shone all at once so singularly bright.

"That was a fine present!" it said; "the bright stars which I have always pleased myself so much about, and which shine so beautifully,—as I really have never been able to shine, although it was my whole aim and endeavor,—have noticed me, a poor old-lamp, and sent one down with a present to me, which consists of that quality, that everything I myself remember and see quite distinctly, shall also be seen by those I am fond of; and that is, above all, a true pleasure, for what one cannot share with others is but a half delight."

"It is a very estimable thought," said the wind; "but you certainly don't know that there must be wax-candles; for unless a wax-candle be lighted in you there are none of the others that will be able to see anything particular about you. The stars have not thought of that; they think that everything which shines has, at least, a wax-candle in it. But now I am tired," said the wind, "I will now lie down;" and so it lay down to rest.

The next day—yes, the next day we will spring over: the next evening the lamp lay in the arm chair,—and where? At the old watchman's. He had, for his long and faithful services, begged of the authorities that he might be allowed to keep the old lamp; they laughed at him when he begged for it, and then gave him it; and now the lamp lay in the arm-chair, close by the warm stove, and it was really just as if it had become larger on that account,—it almost filled the whole chair. The old folks now sat at their supper, and cast mild looks at the old lamp, which they would willingly have given a place at the table with them. It is true they lived in a cellar, a yard or so below ground: one had to go through a paved front-room to come into the room they lived in; but it was warm here, for there was list round the door to keep it so. It looked clean and neat, with curtains round the bed and over the small windows, where two strange-looking flowerpots stood on the sill. Christian, the sailor, had brought them from the East or West Indies; they were of clay in the form of two elephants, the backs of which were wanting: but in their place there came flourishing plants out of the earth that was in them; in the one was the finest chive,—It was the old folks' kitchen-garden,—and in the other was a large flowering geranium—this was their flower-garden. On the wall hung a large colored print of "The Congress of Vienna;" there they had all the kings and emperors at once. A Bornholm* clock, with heavy leaden weights went "tic-tac!" and always too fast; but the old folks said it was better than if it went too slow. They ate their suppers, and the old lamp, as we have said, lay in the armchair close by the warm stove. It was, for the old lamp, as if the whole world was turned upside down. But when the old watchman looked at it, and spoke about what they had lived to see with each other, in rain and drizzle, in the clear, short summer nights, and when the snow drove about so that it was good to get into the pent-house of the cellar,—then all was again in order for the old lamp, it saw it all just as if it were now present;—yes! the wind had blown it up right well,—it had enlightened it.

* Bornholm, a Danish island in the Baltic is famous for its manufactures of clocks, potteries, and cement; it contains also considerable coal mines, though not worked to any extent. It is fertile in minerals, chalks, potters' clay of the finest quality, and other valuable natural productions; but, on account of the jealous nature of the inhabitants, which deters foreigners from settling there, these productions are not made so available or profitable as they otherwise might be.

The old folks were so clever and industrious, not an hour was quietly dozed away; on Sunday afternoons some book was always brought forth, particularly a book of travels, and the old man read aloud about Africa, about the great forests and the elephants that were there quite wild; and the old woman listened so attentively, and now and then took a side glance at the clay elephants—her flower-pots. "I can almost imagine it!" said she; and the lamp wished so much that there was a wax candle to light and be put in it, so that she could plainly see everything just as the lamp saw it; the tall trees, the thick branches twining into one another, the black men on horseback, and whole trains of elephants, which, with their broad feet, crushed the canes and bushes.

"Of what use are all my abilities when there is no wax candle?" sighed the lamp; "they have only train oil and tallow candles, and they are not sufficient."

One day there came a whole bundle of stumps of wax candles into the cellar, the largest pieces were burnt, and the old woman used the smaller pieces to wax her thread with when she sewed; there were wax candle ends, but they never thought of putting a little piece in the lamp.

"Here I stand with my rare abilities," said the lamp; "I have everything within me, but I cannot share any part with them. They know not that I can transform the white walls to the prettiest paper-hangings, to rich forests, to everything that they may wish for. They know it not!"

For the rest, the lamp stood in a corner, where it always met the eye, and it was neat and well scoured; folks certainly said it was an old piece of rubbish; but the old man and his wife didn't care about that, they were fond of the lamp.

One day it was the old watchman's birth day; the old woman came up to the lamp, smiled, and said, "I will illuminate for him," and the lamp's cowl creaked, for it thought, "They will now be enlightened!" But she put in train oil, and no wax candle; it burnt the whole evening; but now it knew that the gift which the stars had given it, the best gift of all, was a dead treasure for this life. It then dreamt—and when one has such abilities, one can surely dream,—that the old folks were dead, and that it had come to an iron founder's to be cast anew; it was in as much anxiety as when it had to go to the town-hall to be examined by the authorities; but although it had the power to fall to pieces in rust and dust, when it wished it, yet it did not do it; and so it came into the furnace and was re-cast as a pretty iron candlestick, in which any one might set a wax candle. It had the form of an angel, bearing a nosegay, and in the centre of the nosegay they put a wax taper and it was placed on a green writing-table; and the room was so snug and comfortable: there hung beautiful pictures—there stood many books; it was at a poet's, and everything that he wrote, unveiled itself round about: the room became a deep, dark forest,—a sun-lit meadow where the stork stalked about; and a ship's deck high aloft on the swelling sea!

"What power I have!" said the old lamp, as it awoke. "I almost long to be re-cast;—but no, it must not be as long as the old folks live. They are fond of me for the sake of my person. I am to them as a child, and they have scoured me, and they have given me train oil. After all, I am as well off as 'The Congress,'—which is something so very grand."

From that time it had more inward peace, which was merited by the old street-lamp

The Old Street Lamp By Hans Christian Andersen



Hi Susan

Here is my grandmother’s recipe for Danish ‘Klejner’ that my whole family in Denmark enjoyed each Christmas

and I brought the recipe with me to Canada when I immigrated I could keep the tradition alive.

I have translated it into English.....

Merry Christmas



Todays Advent we are able to add a very special Recipe, Yesterday was from another Board member as is todays. I am truly grateful for the support and help from all of our Board.


2 egg yolks, 1 egg, 60 g. sugar, 1 tbsp. cream, 1 tbsp, melted butter, finely grated zest of lemon, 250 g flour, (optional 1 tbsp, rum)

Whisk egg yolks, eggs and sugar well together, whisk in cream, butter and lemon and knead the dough with the flour.

Let the dough rest cold for at least 1 hour, then it is easiest to roll out without adding extra flour in addition to a bit on the baking table. Cut 6X2 cm cookies with the klejne-groove, cut a hole with the klejne-groove in each of them and pull one end of the dough through.

Gradually place all the now shaped klejner onto a lightly floured board or dish so that they are all ready before the fat is heated.

Palmin is excellent for cooking klejner in, heat it up and it is ready when you see it simmer around the wood on a dry match.

Boil the klejner light brown and crispy, (turn them over with a long knitting needle or fork) and place them for draining on a gray paper.



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