Er jólaljósin ljóma…

“Things never turn out the way you planned!”, we all know that this is true. When I decided to go to Iceland, I of course thought about snow, a lot of snow, even though I wouldn’t describe myself as a winter person, it’s just part of the things you expect from being in Iceland. And when I then came here and heard about the last winter (snow from the beginning of September until April) I was pretty grateful for not having serious snow until October/November. But now on the first of December, I long for the expected snow. Hello?! I AM IN ICELAND AFTER ALL! Where else should there be snow, if not here? But thanks to self-made cookies (I’m still proud of me for not burning them/ mistaking salt for sugar or things like that which I usually do :D) candles, tea, the sweet little things from my loved ones and Christmas songs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-XV23twsO4 :D) I get into Christmas mood. And with this mood comes the urge to finally make plans for presents, which is even more complicated when you have to think about package sizes and the time it will take for the post to get them to Germany. But with a little help from Santa (I don’t trust these 13 Icelandic trolls to help me) everything will be fine, it’s going to be Christmas after all.

When you are away from home It feels good to realize that some things stay the same, no matter where you are. That’s why I love to be in the church choir here, everything there reminds me of the many years spent in the choir at home. The alto is still the best voice type and we three women rarely stop laughing, there are constantly not enough singers, we are even singing “Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen” one of my favourite Christmas songs. But the most amazing thing is that singing Icelandic is not hard at all, it doesn’t matter how much trouble I might have pronouncing a word in a normal conversation, when it comes to singing the Icelandic “rn” and “ll” just fly out of my mouth without any second thought. I am really looking forward to our Advent evening next weekend, we will be doing great! and I would love to have you all there :)

As this entry seems to be only about Christmasy stuff already, I can as well go into another super cool Icelandic Christmas thing: Malt og appelsín. I had already heard about it before but I just came into the luxury of trying it last weekend with the wonderful Barbara, thanks for that and for the whole weekend ;), and it’s just the best drink you can have. It’s a blend of orange soda and malt extract that you can buy pre-mixed (but it’s much better when you mix it yourself!). I don’t know if you will get a good result if you try it with comparable products in Germany, but it definitely is worth a try, guys! 😉 Tell me about the results.

And now, last but not least, something for your education: Exactly 95 years ago, on 1.12.1918, the Act of Union took place. This is the agreement in which Denmark recognized Iceland as a fully sovereign state (the Kingdom of Iceland) after over 500 years of Danish rule. Iceland established its own flag, declared its neutrality and asked Denmark to represent its foreign affairs and defense interests. So don’t forget that today is not only the first Advent sunday but also a very important day for all Icelanders.

Have a wonderful time, enjoy the moments of love and peace and be sure that I think of you all a lot!

Maria :)