17 December: Christmas is the cosiest event of the year

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Noemie Mermet-Joret is postdoc at DANDRITE and from France. This year she will celebrate a typical Danish Christmas get-together with friends

2019.12.17 | Anna Bech Sørensen

Graphics: Astrid Reitzel

The Omnibus Advent Calendar:

The Advent calendar is a treasured Danish Christmas tradition. In many families, kids get to open a small gift each day all December until Christmas Eve, when Christmas is celebrated.

Our small holiday gift to you is a chance to meet one of AU’s many international students and employees every day until Christmas.

All 24 will share where they’re spending Christmas this year, their favorite (and least favorite) Christmas traditions from their home countries,  and what’s most annoying – or surprising – about Christmas in Denmark.

How are you going to celebrate Christmas this year?

It is important for me to celebrate Christmas with my family. It is the warmest and cosiest event of the year, and just thinking about being all around the table sharing a delicious meal makes me happy. So I will go back in France for Christmas.

What is the best/worst Christmas tradition from your home country?

The best tradition for Christmas, beside all the lights and wonderful Christmas decoration, is Christmas Eve. We enjoy food and wine during a long dinner that last for several hours. If you’ve heard about French people eating long and slowly, this dinner is the greatest example of this French custom. Another tradition I like is that French children put their shoes near the fireplace or Christmas tree so that Père Noël (Santa Claus) can find them and fill them with presents. As a kid, I always prepared a plate full a biscuits and a glass of milk for him.

The worst tradition, I would say, is the insane amount of food that is eaten (or unfortunately wasted). In my family, we often share a Christmas meal for the 24th evening, the 25th all day long, and most of the time the 26th with family members or friends we could not see earlier. We end up being sick of having eaten for days, while people cannot even afford to have decent food. We do have several organisations that collect funds and food for people in need, and toys for kids, so they can also have a bit of the Christmas fairy.

What do you think is most annoying about Danish Christmas?

I have been in Denmark for two years only, and never been in Denmark during Christmas per se. This year, for the first time, I will celebrate a typical Danish Christmas get-together with friends, and I am sure it is gonna be wonderful ! Maybe the most annoying thing is that it took me two years to finally be invited by Danes to celebrate Christmas ! But good things often take time.    

- Joyeux noël!

The Omnibus Advent Calendar:

The Advent calendar is a treasured Danish Christmas tradition. In many families, kids get to open a small gift each day all December until Christmas Eve, when Christmas is celebrated.

Our small holiday gift to you is a chance to meet one of AU’s many international students and employees every day until Christmas.

All 24 will share where they’re spending Christmas this year, their favorite (and least favorite) Christmas traditions from their home countries,  and what’s most annoying – or surprising – about Christmas in Denmark.

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