Season’s greeting is coming, Christmas commercials are all over the city, plus the ultra consumption behavior is at its peak. However, the essence of this holiday is different for me as I am looking into something more cultural, and social.
Christmas party is an important event for many Danes and there are different kinds of it. This year is my second Christmas in Denmark, and I have been invited into 3 different parties. A year ago, when I had just lived in Denmark for 4 months, I got 2 invites. So an upgrade of one party within a year is not really bad to measure the social level of me and the Danes.
The most famous kind of Christmas party in Denmark is “Julefrokost“. How to explain it…? ummmm…it’s a Christmas lunch-meant-to-be dinner which ended with get drunk and dance together with colleagues. People usually celebrate julefrokost around 1 – 2 weeks before Christmas, but due to popularity which created long list in venue booking, people can have this party up to a month before Christmas. A lot of guidelines need to be remarked for those who never come to julefrokost:
1. What happened in julefrokost, stay in julefrokost. Denmark office hierarchy is already flat, and during julefrokost, this hierarchy can even seem disappear in everyone’s delusions.
2. Make sure you know how to get home from julefrokost. It’s wise to prepare a note of your address and the way to get home on your phone(before you get drunk and had no idea how to get home).
3. Dress elegant but comfortable. Prepare a first-aid shoes (flat shoes) in case you want to dance all night long. You don’t want to suffer from pain legs, unless you chose to dance barefoot on the dirty & beer-spilled dance floor.
4. Empty your stomach during the afternoon as you would be exposed with massive amount of foods during the party.
5. Enjoy the drinks, get loose, but stay civilized and in control. You don’t want to come to the office on Sunday with bad reputation regarding your wild attitude.
Last Christmas, I went to 2 julefrokost parties, but this year 1 julefrokost was pleasant enough for me. Among these three julefrokost, I had a few embarassing experience, but again…please refer the guideline number 1 above.
I also went to a julefesten with CPH volunteer, an organization I have been joining and active in this past one year. It was a simple party of people enjoying the feast, bringing the gifts, and exchanging them randomly through a set of weird game where everyone had sequence chance to throw a dice, and if someone got 6, he/she could pick a gift, including steal from someone else. I call it a mean game as there would be someone who didn’t get a gift, while another piled mountains of gifts due to luck.
The last party I recently attended related to Christmas party was the “Juletrætsfest” at Valby Kulturhus. It was a party where kids and parents come to celebrate Christmas with the Santa and to later, make a circle around the Christmas tree, hold hand together, and dance around the tree while singing Christmas carols.
This last party was special because, as a volunteer for Valby Kulturhus, I got a solo to sing numbers of The Beatles’ songs and perform the carols in Danish, yes…In Danish!, in front of many people. After my performance, some parents came after me, and gave compliments for my singing. They were amazed about my good Danish despite me being here for only a year. I should say, I was nervous when I decided to sing danish songs, but afterall, it turned just all fine 🙂
There is one last party I will have to attend = a wonderful traditional Christmas dinner in Norway with my husband’s family. This Christmas we got no snow in Denmark, but I will…as I am heading north for the white Christmas.
Merry Christmas and happy new year 2014!