Norwegian 101: Juletrær (Christmas Trees)

Photo: Pixabay Family Christmas tree farms like Heidi’s offer more than just a tree.

Photo: Pixabay
Family Christmas tree farms like Heidi’s offer more than just a tree.

Heidi Håvan Grosch
Sparbu, Norway

As some of you may remember (som noen kanskje husker) from previous years, my husband (mannen min) and I grow Christmas trees (dyrker juletær). Norwegians are the pickiest Christmas tree shoppers in the world (verdens mest kresne juletrekjøpere), so we spend a lot of time pruning (klipping og kniping) each tree (hvert tre) each year (hvert år). Ours is a small production (en liten produksjon), only (bare) about 10,000 trees, and we do much of the work by hand (vi gjør mye av arbeidet for hånd).

As our land is very steep (svært bratt) and it is unrealistic (urealistisk) to use a tractor, my husband has adapted (har tilbasset) various implements (ulike redskaper) to use with the ATV (firhjuling). One such machine is an industrial-sized (en industriell størrelse) lawnmower (gressklipper) powered by (drevet av) a hand tractor and made from (laget av) two motors (to motorer) from old mowers and a great deal of scrap metal (en god del av skrapmetall). There’s your innovative (innovativ) and creative (kreativ) Norwegian farmer (norsk bonde) for you! Never throw things away because you may need it someday (Aldri kaster ting fordi du kanskje trenger det en dag).

Most Christmas tree sales (det meste av juletresalget) begin (begynner) around the 10th of December, although (selv om) the big retailers (store forhandlere) already (allrede) have artificial trees (kunstige trær) on sale. Yes, much to the dismay (til stor forferdelse) of traditionalists (tradisjonalister) and Christmas tree farmers (juletrebønder), more and more people (flere og flere mennesker) are converting (konverterer) to artificial trees. That is one of the reasons (en av grunnene) we, at Gran og Greier (Spruce and Things/, want to sell an experience (selger en opplevelse) and not just a tree (og ikke bare trær). We want the children (barna) to think it is so fun (så gøy) that they come back (de kommer tilbake) year after year (år etter år) until it becomes a part of their pre-Christmas/Advent traditions (er en del av deres før-jul/adventstradisjoner) forever (for alltid).

Already I have been making wreaths (laget kranser) and hanging garland (hengt girlander), but our family open house (åpent hus) weekends (helgene) are not until (er ikke før) the two weekends (to helgene) before Christmas (før jul) as many Norwegians still abide by (forsett holder seg til) the “rule” that you wait until it is almost Christmas (venter til det er nesten jul) before setting up (setter opp) your tree. We are anticipating (vi forventer) that the weekend right before Christmas (rett før jul) will be the busy (travelt) one.

Emily asked (spurte) if we set up a tree (set opp et tre), and the answer (svaret) is yes, although it is more than likely at the last minute (i siste minutt) and is a tree we have cut but haven’t sold (har hogget men ikke solgt). Regardless (uavhengig) of when the tree goes up (settes opp), it always smells like Christmas (lukter det alltid jul) in our house in December because WE smell like spruce (vi lukter gran) and our house is filled with the smells of baking (fylt med luktene av bakervarer).

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 19, 2014, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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