Monday, December 18
I Am So Glad Each Christmas Eve (Jeg Er Saa Glad Hver Julekveld)
Pastor Julie Johnson
I am so glad each Christmas Eve,
the night of Jesus birth!
Then like the sun the star shone forth,
and angels sang on earth.
Every Christmas Eve, before we open gifts, any family member who has been to Norway must stand in front of the Christmas tree to sing at least the first verse of this song in Norwegian. My brothers, sisters, children, nieces and nephews sing from phonetically written words I’ve written on a sheet of paper. Somehow my dad gets a pass on the singing every year even though he’s been to Norway more times than all of us.
This wasn’t always the tradition. It started out with my Grandma Inga, my sister LeDora, and me standing in front of the Christmas tree at my parents’ home one year in the early 1980’s. My Grandma Inga was born in Norway, March 10, 1899, and came to the US in 1916. She, of course, could sing the song from memory. Grandma Inga would sing with much gusto each year. I can still see her closing her eyes and singing. She was back in Norway again perhaps as a child celebrating Christmas with her parents and sisters and brother.
Singing this song is bitter sweet. I miss my Grandma Inga and Grandpa Pete, my mom, Aunty Doris Ann, Aunt Lorraine, Uncle Arnold who are no longer here to sing in front of the tree. This song brings back wonderful, loving memories of family, food, and love.
Jesus came to help a world in need. Jesus comforts us and gives us hope and strength to bear the grief of death; celebrating Jesus birth enables me to keep on singing. Singing a song that connects me to those who are no longer singing with me. Singing this song connects me to those who again will be standing in front of a Christmas tree in 2017 with me. Singing this song connects me to my cousins in Norway who may also be singing this same song this Christmas season but with a more excellent Norwegian pronunciation and accent. Thank you, Jesus, for this song that is woven with love and memories for me.Add Pingback