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Norwegian Christmas

This lively day of Scandinavian holiday traditions, crafts, music, movies, and treats is a fun family event that happens on the first Saturday of December each year.

Ring in the holidays with Vesterheim. Children receive free admission!

• A favorite activity for children is hands-on ornament-making. This year will include two new ornaments designed by Luther College art students—a nisse (Norwegian elf) hand puppet and a kroting (geometric painting) design. Other crafts will be a julenek (straw craft) and julehjerte (woven paper heart baskets)

• There will be a chance to meet the julenisse (Christmas elf) and enjoy a juletrefest, where young and old join hands and sing songs while they circle around the tree and hear about Christmas in Norway. Don’t be scared by the julebukker, costumed folk who roam the museum complex scaring away evil spirits.

• Enjoy the holiday atmosphere of Vesterheim’s campus with a warm fire in the museum courtyard, where you can make Scandinavian-style s’mores and drink warm cider.

• Search for life-size cutouts of Olaf, Sven, Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff in the museum, try on Frozen inspired costumes, and take your picture with your favorite character. Vesterheim will also have a kubbestol, a traditional Norwegian chair, for you to sit on and take a selfie in front of a Norwegian landscape mural.

• There will be folk art demonstrations throughout the museum.

• Vesterheim’s Kaffistova (coffee shop) will offer an á la carte menu of traditional tastes such as varme pølse, soup, lefse, and a variety of desserts, including rømmegrøt, julekake, and sandbakkeler. Serving 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Vesterheim’s Bethania Church on North Mill St.

• There will be performances by Decorah-area musicians and vocal groups, such as A Touch of Brass, the Decorah Chorale and the Decorah High School Madrigals, Northern Lights, the Luren Singing Society, area fiddlers with Erik Sessions, and Dame’s Rocket.

• Norwegian Christmas is a great time to do your holiday shopping. The Museum Store is open from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and packed full of great Scandinavian gifts.

Find an album of pictures from the most recent Norwegian Christmas here.