My dad called last night to wish us "happy liten julaften"–approximately "happy little Christmas Eve" in Norwegian, or at least in his mother's Norwegian. When he was eight or nine years old, his mother placated his mounting impatience to open something, anything, among the gifts accumulating under the Christmas tree in their home on the South Side of Chicago. His mom came up with "liten julaften" on the 23rd (note, the Norway Norwegian actually do observe a "lille julaften" then, too; traditionally, I read on the Internet, that's the occasion for decorating the tree). Anyway, in my dad's Chicago Norwegian household, he was allowed to open one present on the 23rd.
Happy liten julaften to you, too, Pop.
And in other news: Had another piece on the radio this morning. This time it was a short, featury piece on holiday lights. Before I jump to the critique (some other day), here's the lead paragraph for the story as it aired on KQED this morning, and the audio, too:
Host intro: Nothing this time of year is as fun as a holiday light display. But like everything else in a world concerned with climate change, the lights we love come with a cost–and a possible solution. KQED's Dan Brekke reports.