chocolate countdown

Christmas is around the corner and yet I don’t see that old, familiar twinkling of parols, some lit by humble 4-watt bulbs, others an extravagant display of synchronized lights and Christmas sounds. I have observed that Norwegians barely use colored dancing Christmas lights on the street or in shop window displays – it’s white and steady.

The radios here have only started playing Christmas songs, whereas back in Manila, yuletide tunes permeate the airwaves as early as September.

Fifteen days from now, the pealing of church bells in the Philippines would usher early-risers to the start of the nine-day novena mass, afterwhich they would partake in a hearty breakfast of puto-bumbong, that purplish steamed glutinous rice made with small bamboo cannons, and a cup of traditional cacao. Whereas here in Norway, lamps made to give out light rendering natural sunlight would peel people off their beds and onto their workplaces, but not without a quick stop at a coffeshop for that hot cup.

One Norwegian tradition that I experienced on this first day of December is the 24-day Julekalender or Christmas Calendar. Nowadays, it is sold as boxes with 24 date windows, for December 1 thru 24. When you peel the cover, you’d find a chocolate underneath, sometimes other sorts of sweets. In the old days, I heard, the moms of the house would make their own julekalender with matchboxes, and under each window would be a piece of chocolate and a little scroll containing a clue for a bigger present hidden somewhere in the house. That sure sounds exciting!


Now I have to eat a piece of chocolate every day! Santa sure does want to make me fat.

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2 Responses to “chocolate countdown”


  1. 1 ~*galenlondeien*~ December 4, 2006 at 4:51 am

    I know. The Christmas season is definitely not the best time to go on a diet!

  2. 2 R*Y A N December 12, 2006 at 12:18 am

    i hope you have better discipline than i do. i ate all the chocolates off my advent calendar on the first day!!!


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