Home is Where the heart is during holidays

*Guest post by Kendra Thornton*

The Christmas season has quickly crept up again as the snow begins to fall outside and people are looking to place Christmas gifts under their tree. Here in Chicago, this city has quickly become an enchanting winter wonderland and has marked the time to begin celebrating traditions with family. My side of the family has a Norwegian heritage, so there are always plenty of food and drinks that we have to celebrate both our roots and the holiday season!
One of the ways that we celebrate Christmas together is by making lefse and kringla on Christmas Eve, while also downing a shot of a raw oyster, which naturally makes all of us explode in laughter. We then move on to having a warm bowl of oyster stew for a filling meal eaten together as a family. This is made complete with the whole family taking a shot of Akvavit, a Scandinavian spirit, that is plenty strong as it always burns going down. During our shot, we naturally yell “Skol,” which means “Cheers” in Norwegian.
My kids are also excited to celebrate the holiday season by spending time ice-skating on the local rink. They enjoy spending time in the kitchen with me by helping to cook our Norwegian dinner and also garnishing the decorative Christmas cookies that we make each year. One of their favorite activities is to make a bit of reindeer dust, which is said to help the reindeers find our home so that they can leave us plenty of gifts under the tree on the Eve of Christmas! This is sprinkled right outside of my children’s windows and outside of our home. Our night then becomes complete by cozying up together as a family with some delicious hot coco.
In former years, I spent a lot of time traveling around the world for a job that I had and was able to see a variety of incredible places. Although it was a great experience, it also taught me that there is truly no place like home for the holidays. I even read an article on Gogobot that talked about the differences between warm holidays and cold holidays, which made me realize that I couldn’t trade being home for anything in the world. I would never want to swap evergreen trees for palm trees or the snow outside for rollerblades. What is it like in your hometown during this time of the year?
I have only really known a cold Christmas each year, but that fits perfectly for the Thornton family. We’re planning on staying in again this season and welcoming in a number of close relatives to dine over delicious foods and beverages while practicing a few traditions. We had a great Thanksgiving holiday and are looking to have just as much fun this Christmas. I hope you also have a wonderful holiday season spent with your own family and are able to partake in plenty of laughter while creating new memories! Happy holidays from the Thornton family!

Kendra approached me for this guest spot and is currently guest posting on a number of blogs trying out blogging before committing possibly to starting her own. She can be found on twitter here 

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