The holiday season is upon us! The events in my monthly postings are no longer exclusively virtual. Readers will now also find a selection of in-person events primarily in the Los Angeles area that may be of interest.
Online Nordic book clubs continue to be popular. Visit my page Online Nordic Book Club Meetings to see reading selections and meeting dates for December and upcoming months.
LOS ANGELES AREA IN-PERSON EVENTS
The Norwegian Church in San Pedro hosts many Christmas events this time of year, the first of which is their annual Christmas Luncheon on Tuesday, December 6 (registration required). Another highlight is the Christmas Concert on December 17 (free, no registration required, donation appreciated). See the latest newsletter for details on these events as well as Christmas services and more. Visit their Facebook page for updates on Christmas events.
Have you marked your calendars for the Scandinavian Film Festival LA with BalticFilmExpo@SFFLA which returns in person this winter season? After two virtual years, the festival will be back at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills for two weekends in January 2023 (14th & 15th and 21st & 22nd) with films from Scandinavia and their Nordic neighbors. Details about the programming is expected to be released before the holidays. In the meantime, visit their new website and consider becoming a donor to help make it all possible.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is currently hosting an exhibition, Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980, co-organized by the LACMA and the Milwaukee Art Museum in collaboration with the Nationalmuseum in Sweden and the Nasjonalmuseet in Norway. It is the first exhibition to examine the extensive design exchanges between the United States and the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) during the 20th century. It will be open through February 5, 2023. Check the Event Calendar for information on gallery tours with a LACMA docent.
Registration for Mindekirken’s Norwegian Language & Culture Program for the next trimester of classes (January – March 2023) is now open. Each trimester, they offer a range of Norwegian classes for beginning learners to those that are more advanced, many of them online. Culture classes are designed to expand learners’ knowledge of traditional and contemporary Norwegian culture.
Scandinavian Fest: Virtual Holiday Market (Friday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 3)
Scandinavian Fest: Virtual Holiday Market returns Friday, December 2, and Saturday, December 3, on Facebook. Scandinavian Fest brings Nordic shops and businesses from around the globe together in one online location. Join the Virtual Holiday Market to discover unique Nordic products, take advantage of discounts, and win giveaways. To participate, mark that you are “Going” or “Interested” in the event and then follow the Discussion tab on the event page for products, discounts and giveaways. For more information, visit their website.
Virtual Workshop: Papercutting for the Holidays (Dec. 4, 10:00 a.m. PT)
Join National Nordic Museum for a holiday-themed papercutting workshop with Anna Brones. In this season of Advent we are focusing on slowing down and creating moments of warmth and joy, and the same goes for this class. Together, we’ll design our own holiday-themed paper cuts—perfect to gift someone special! This workshop is also offered Dec. 13 in the evening.
Lecture: Edible Evergreens (Wednesday, Dec. 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m. CST)
Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are indeed edible, so let forager Maria Wesserle guide the way! In fact, northern cultures have a rich tradition of using evergreens for food and medicine. Maria will discuss some of the common evergreens available in the upper Midwest, including how to identify, harvest, and prepare. Maria will also demonstrate how she uses white pine to make tea and other infusions, and students will receive instructions in case they want to follow along at home. This virtual class has limited space to better facilitate participatory learning.
ASI Demo: Swedish Saffron Buns with Kristi Bissell (Thursday, Dec. 8, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT)
Get ready for Luciadagen (St. Lucia Day) on December 13 by watching how Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen completes all the hands-on steps for a batch of Swedish saffron buns (also known as lussekatter or lussebullar) in just an hour. Kristi will use multiple batches of dough to demonstrate how to mix and knead this special saffron yeasted dough, shape a pre-risen batch of dough into the typical lussekatter shapes, and bake the buns until golden. Students will leave with the recipe and lots of tips, inspired to bake their own batch of buns at home!
Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series: Sankta Lucia Celebration from Gränna, Sweden (Friday, Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m. PT.)
By popular demand, the Nordic Spirit Second Friday program will bring the enchanting 2019 Sankta Lucia celebration from Gränna, Sweden. Participation is free, but you must register to receive the link. The monthly series of Nordic Spirit Classics is a virtual program of selected presentations from 21 years of Nordic Spirit Symposia hosted by The Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, CA.
Workshop: Paper Quilled Ornaments (Thu, Dec 15, 6:30-8:00 p.m. CST)
Try out paper quilling in this intro level class while creating a quilled ornament perfect for displaying or gifting! Students will learn about the basic tools and materials used in paper quilling with artist Kayla Ann while working on a winter themed ornament that could hang on a tree, window or gift. You’ll come away with lots of inspiration and materials to make a second ornament. This class includes a kit ($5 value); please see the website for more information. Suitable for ages 16+. Registration for this kit-based class closes December 5.
Norway House: 12 Days of Christmas Online Auction (December 10-22)
Norway House’s online holiday auction is back for the third year running, serving as both a unique opportunity to support Norway House AND check items off your shopping list at the same time! The majority of items will be available in a traditional auction-style, closing at 11:59 p.m. on December 21. Alongside their auction, you’ll also find an Instant Shop of items, open and convenient for immediate purchases of Norway House special merchandise.
Vesterheim’s FamilieTid: Music (Sunday, Dec. 11, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT, Free)
Gather the family together and join celebrated Finnish musicians Soili Perkiö and Maija Karhinen for an hour of Scandinavian music. Soili and Maija return to Vesterheim by popular demand after last year’s event. This captivating and engaging hour of singing, dancing, and play will set toes tapping for participants of every age!
ASI Virtual Lucia Celebration Concert (Sunday, Dec. 11, 2:00-3:00 p.m. CT)
This magical concert set in ASI’s Larson Hall brings light to the dark winter through a performance of classic and traditional Swedish- and English-language songs sung by the ASI Lucia Choir and ASI Lilla Lag.
Virtual Workshop: Papercutting for the Holidays (Dec. 13, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. PT)
Join National Nordic Museum for a holiday-themed papercutting workshop with Anna Brones. In this season of Advent we are focusing on slowing down and creating moments of warmth and joy, and the same goes for this class. Together, we’ll design our own holiday-themed paper cuts—perfect to gift someone special! This workshop is also offered Dec. 4 in the morning.
Vesterheim TVprat: Hjem til Jul, Season 1 (Wednesday, Dec. 14, 7:00-8:15 p.m. CT, Free)
In a twist on Vesterheim’s monthly bokprat discussions, join Dr. Maren Anderson Johnson in December for a discussion of the Norwegian television series Hjem til Jul, available on Netflix. This rom-com follows Johanne as she scrambles to find a boyfriend to bring home for Christmas, making dubious decisions along the way. This program is free of charge. Registration is required.
Virtual Crafts & Cocktail (Dec. 15, 6:00-7:00 p.m. PT)
Oh, the weather outside is frightful—so stay in and join National Nordic Museum for a much-needed crafting + cocktail happy hour! A fantastic way to unwind from a long day, it’s also a great excuse to hang out with friends and meet other craft + cocktail lovers. All from the comfort of your own home. This month’s craft project + cocktail is: Holiday Woven Paper Hearts + a Scandinavian Sour!
Vesterheim Family Book Adventure: What Does the Fox Say? (Registration Deadline Dec. 18)
In this family-fun reading adventure, Luther College Nordic Studies instructor Evelyn Galstad will get you reading, thinking, creating, and even up and moving – indoors and out! A kit delivered right to your home contains supplies for book-reading, a fun craft, a snack, and a scavenger-hunt-type adventure. For January, you’ll be reading What Does the Fox Say?, based on the 2013 smash-hit pop song by the Norwegian pop duo The Ylvis. This picture book is geared for young children, but readers of all ages will laugh at the silliness and delight at Svein Nyhus’s playful illustrations in this irresistibly entertaining read-aloud picture book. In the spirit of the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv, the scavenger-hunt-type activity will get your family out into the great outdoors.
Which events or experiences look interesting to you?
Be sure to visit previous months’ listings of Nordic events. Many of the virtual events are now available to view as saved recordings.