Christmastime is Here!

Hej alt! Hvordan går det? Julen er her!

Hello all! How are you? Christmas is here!

I hope that everyone is doing great, getting settled in to the holiday season and getting into the yule spirit. Here in Denmark, everything has been transitioning  slowly into Christmas, beginning on the first of December. My classes have all ended, all of my finals have been taken, and my final papers were completed (just in the nick of time!). I feel very confident about this past semester and all of the courses that I took. So now I can check Fall semester/my environmental studies/sustainability semester off my Copenhagen list! On to Spring semester, where bigger and better things await me.

But first, I have a 5 week break! With Christmas approaching quickly now, I am in full swing of Danish holiday traditions. Beginning on December 1, my host family and I began watching the traditional Danish television show, called the Julekalender. A new show is made for each holiday season, but the one that my family watches every year is about three nissemen (elf/pixie-like creatures) who must “save Christmas” by finding a key and fighting off the evil nåsår (difficult to describe the full plot, when the script is in a mixture of Danish and English, aka Denglish). It is a fun show, with 10-15 minute installments, one for each day up until the 24th. We also have a real julekalender, which is essentially what Americans call an Advent Calendar. Every day up until the 24th, we get to open a box and receive a little treat inside. The holiday season has also brought the famous Christmas Markets to Copenhagen. I have been to three different markets: one at Amagertorv, one at Nyhavn, and one in Christiania. The markets have really gotten me into the holiday spirit, and so many people go to them! The lights in the city have transformed the city into something from a fairy tale, and I love it! Also, served during this season is æbleskiver (doughy balls flavored with apple) and glögg (a mulled wine spiced with raisins, almonds, and snaps). It has been so different but so amazing to experience a Christmas season in a completely different culture, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

I have also been given a room in the city for the break between the semesters, but I am only using it after the holiday season is over. It will be nice to live closer to the city center, however, and meet other full-year students that have decided to stay in Denmark between the semesters like myself. The room is on the 5th floor of a building in østerbro, one of the districts of Copenhagen. It is just about a 15 minute bike ride to the main train station, so it’s in a great location!

Also, the days keep counting down until the day that my mom and grandma will finally be here to visit me! Arriving on December 29, I will be more that happy to show them around the city, to all my favorite places of this place I have been living the last 4 months. We will begin in Copenhagen, but just after the New Year, we will catch a train and make our way down to Central Europe. First, we will be going to Frankfurt, Germany, followed by Vienna, Prague, and finally Berlin before returning to Copenhagen! It should be an amazing 2 weeks while they are here visiting…I can hardly wait!

Meanwhile, I will continue watching the Julekalender, eating æbleskiver, and spending wintry times with my host family! Har en glædelig jul og godt nytår! (Have a merry Christmas and a good New Year!)

Vi ses!

The famous hearts on the walking street, Strøget.

The famous hearts on the walking street, Strøget.

A star in the night.

A star in the night.

A taste of the magical Christmas lights.

A taste of the magical Christmas lights.

Lights, cont.

Lights, cont.

Amagertorv Julemarked.

Amagertorv Julemarked.

En julebolle.

En julebolle.

More lights to decorate the streets.

More lights to decorate the streets.

Candles: how to survive the dark season.

Candles: how to survive the dark season.

A wave of cloud, a seen from my bedroom window.

A wave of cloud, a seen from my bedroom window.

A fabulous Christmas display, complete with characters from The Nutcracker.

A fabulous Christmas display, complete with characters from The Nutcracker.

Nyhavn Julemarked.

Nyhavn Julemarked.

My fancy high-rise room in Østerbro.

My fancy high-rise room in Østerbro.

Keeping warm, in any way possible.

Keeping warm, in any way possible.

A colorful taste of Christmas.

A colorful taste of Christmas.

Danish "Christmas Hearts"

Danish “Christmas Hearts”

Lights, as seen in Frederiksberg.

Lights, as seen in Frederiksberg.

Candles again, because this dark is a heavy one.

Candles again, because this dark is a heavy one.

Æbleskiver og glögg! YUM.

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