Yule Season 2017

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Valkenhaus Family Yule 2017 at Norhalla.com

Yule Season 2017

The Valkenhaus family had a fantastic Yuletide season!  Our Yule season starts on the American holiday Thanksgiving and ends January 1st on the New Year.

Thanksgiving 2017

Yuletide begins on Thanksgiving in full Nordic style with a huge feast!

 

We gather together at our community house, "Viking House", and we all prepare food for the meal.  All of our main meats are some style of boar (pork): we have pork ribs, pork roast, pork loin, German style wiener schnitzel, and in Danish tradition frikadeller! 

Thanksgiving and Yuletide 2017

 

Norse Father makes his specialty: a Yule Boar (Ham)! So yummy!

Thanksgiving 2017

For desert, Peter made traditional Danish Risalamande - complete with the hidden almond!  After feasting, and after "tak for mad" (with enthusiasm) we toast to the ancestors.  

 

Later that afternoon, we decorated the Yule Tree, put up lights, and decorated the house with winter trimmings to include our Nisse.

Yule 2017

 

We spent the following morning making our Yule Goats, which was a lot of fun and we made some strange looking "goats"!  

Yuletide 2017

 

Our goats are made "anatomically correct" as male goats in Nordic tradition.

Yule Goats 2017

The goat pictured above in the bottom left corner (check marked) is what they were supposed to look like!

This is what we made:

 

After our goat-making adventure, we made dehydrated apple chips.  Norse Father got his handy peeler and apple corer out so the little ones could help too!

Yuletide 2017

Yuletide

Now that the season has been officially kicked-off, the Yule Goat is hidden in someone's home and as soon as it is found, it is then hidden in someone else's home.  This game continues through New Year's and the last house with the Yule Goat starts the hiding the following year!

We spend the time between Thanksgiving and Yule visiting everyone's homes and leaving small, practical gifts in their stockings.  Gifts are simple winter or preparedness themed, and the only mandatory gift is a "Yule Buck" (a dollar).

 

 We also observe the tradition of the Yule Cat (Jólakötturinn), an Icelandic tradition and give each person an item of clothing for winter.  We don't give "presents", instead everyone is responsible for having winter gear and winter preparedness items.  This keeps anyone from being eaten by the Yule Cat!

Yule Cat

 Yule!

On Yule morning, we all meet at Viking House and have another feast - complete with yet another Norse Father's Yule Boar!

After the feast, we go through our stockings then don our winter gear to go outside and play.  We had a wonderful Yule this year, as it started snowing the night before!

What to do with snow?  Build a mini sledding hill - of course!

yule 2017

 

 Everyone gathered snow balls - large ones - and brought them together.

Yule 2017

 

Peter and Ivonova pause for a photo op!

Yule 2017

 

Kara is first to test the new sledding hill

Yule 2017

Then everyone had a turn!

Alyssa - Ivonova - Norse Mother

Yule 2017

 

The little ones had a blast!Yule 2017

 

Peter and Ivonova doing a double-decker belly toboggan!

Yule 2017

Norse Father said, "Let me show you how that's done!"

Yule 2017

 And the day is not over yet!

It was decided that forts needed built and a snowball war was to take place.  This was serious business!

Yule 2017

 

Yule 2017

Norse Father and Norse Mother chose Team Iceland and declared themselves winners!

New Year's Eve

For New Year's eve, we played poker (Norse Mother won, of course) and we toasted the Queen.

New Year's Eve 2017

A tired bunch by the end of the evening.

New Year's Eve 2017

At midnight, we burned our Yule Goats and toasted the ancestors.

New Year's Eve 2017

Happy New Year 2018!

We had another beautiful day on New Year's day and the river outside was well  frozen.  We couldn't resist another round of fun and competition, so we made a sled hill onto the frozen river.

New Year's Eve 2017

Everyone took turns sledding onto the ice to see who could go the farthest.

New Year's Eve 2017

Either Peter or Alex won, but I really can't remember!

New Year's Eve 2017

 It was an amazing holiday season with the family!

Yule 2017

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