Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Eve in Petersburg

The Julebukking tradition continued on Christmas Eve.

Dave and Nancy Berg served up a wonderful spread at Viking Travel.  Thank you Dave and Nancy for the great food and really for all you do for our little town.

I bet Grant was wishing Nancy a Happy Birthday.

Kathleen and Ann visited with people while they enjoyed their delicious treats

Fini also had a nice visit with people who stopped in.

Next door, at First Bank, Ro served punch.  Thank you Ro and crew at First Bank for the great food and cheerful service......

to all who stopped in to feast and drink.  The line stretched out onto the sidewalk.  Alex looked pretty serious about his choice of goodies;)

Jenny and her boys Brian and Kyle were out celebrating too.  I think the boys were glad to have mom home for the holiday.   What a good looking family!

Kraig and his daughter Riley were in town to have Christmas with the family.

I was able to get a picture of Ray too.

Kelly's home for Christmas.  Kelly, Gail and Dick were all having a nice time visiting and tasting yummy treats.

Right next door, at Wells Fargo, another line.  This is where I found some members of my family,  Helen, Joey and Audrey.

And here was the table with treats from the sea like prawns and smoked salmon.  I wonder if any other Wells Fargo bank in the giant chain, serves up a smorgasbord like this once a year.  Thank you Well's Fargo for providing this beautiful spread.

Ahhh... and the punch.  I bet Rhea was serving the adult punch.

Gilda, Melva, Jessielea and her sons, Lita and friends shared stories and enjoyed each other's the bank.  

Alana, Jeff and Scott enjoyed the prawns and yarns.... yum

I ran into three of my favorite people, Tamara, and her kids my niece Mary and nephew Dave.  I wonder if they were shopping for me;)

Across the street at Hammer and Wikan, I was greeted at the door by Androg, God of Grog and his mini-me.... Drew.  They had just enjoyed the goodies in the back.

Andrea (Wikan), the great granddaughter of one of the founders Hammer and Wikan Grocery and Hardware stores, made sure the table was stocked with good food.  Young folks, just home from their travels,  caught up in the power tool department.

Lee and Brad mixed up the punch.

Wendy (Hammer) the granddaughter of the other founder of the store, with her husband Bruce and daughter Crystal mixed up the moose milk.

And here again, A LINE!! for the smorgasbord.

Terry and Sandy enjoyed the treats served at Hammer and Wikan.

Kurt, Rick and Janet ran into each other at Hammer and Wikan.  I'm not sure how these guys get along on the fishing grounds but during Julebukking, everyone is a friend.  Thank you Hammer and Wikan for the delicious food and the really delicious Moose Milk.

The tradition continues..... hot pastrami sandwiches at Rexall Drug.  I believe Cate's dad Max, started this tradition more than 35 years ago when he was the owner and pharmacist of our town's only drug store.  When Cate and Erika took over the pharmacy several years ago, they continued to serve hot pastrami sandwiches on Christmas Eve.  In this picture, Eva, Cate, Maria and Chris and were almost ready to start serving.  Thank you for carrying on this lovely tradition Cate and Erica.

People still need their medication, so while the party went on in the back room, Erica and Wanda continue to fill prescriptions.

This is for you Nevette...look who I found in the line at Rexall.  Dianne, Lyle and Paul wait patiently for lunch.

Next door, Devren was serving up spiced cider and delicious chili.  Devren is available to fix whatever computer problem ails you.   Thank you Devren for opening your doors to Petersburg on Christmas Eve.

Costal Cold Storage always has tasty treats served by Wendy and Katy.  Thank you ladies for the wonderful seafood snacks.

Anna was there too!! It was great to see Anna and her daughter Ariana from Sitka.  I believe they had a wonderful time julebukking with Marsha and mom, Jeanette.

At the end of the street, Trading Union Inc. was serving vegies, fudge and goodies.  For the umteeth year in a row, Ken mixed up a Tom and Jerry for Doug.  Ken said T.U. has been offering Julebukking treats since the '20's.

Beth and Carol shared a friendly smile and a story or two with visitors.  Thank you for the treats Ken, Beth, Carol and Crew.

Theresa had a lovely little spread at Diamante's Gift shop.

The store window was very fun to look at.  Children especially admired the little characters sliding down the hill and ice skating on the pond, and the train running on the track.  Thank you Theresa for the lovely window display and the yummy treats.

This post is, and my last post was dedicated to Julebukking in Petersburg.  I regret not being able to make it to every single place and snap photos of your gift to Petersburg.  These inlcude The Bookstore, Petro Marine, The Harbor Bar and the places I mentioned in the last post.  You are first on my list for next year.  Thank you all so much for providing food and drink and a place to meet.  Young people, just home from college or travels meet and share stories; people who have family in town are able to introduce them to the entire community; people who have been gone for years can come home and feel like they never left.  The spirit of Christmas lives here in Petersburg, Alaska.  Our businesses and organizations keep it alive through their generous offerings during Julebukking.

These posts are especially for those friends of mine that can't be here for the holiday.  I hope they bring you joy.  Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What is Julebukking?

Julebukking is a Norwegian tradition that has been practiced for more than 10 centuries.  The tradition was practiced during the darkest time of the year.  It was a time when the beer, made earlier in the year, had to be ready to drink to toast a prosperous new year.  In the early days, a billy goat was sacrificed to Thor.  After missionaries brought Christianity to the North, sacrificing the goat, or buk, was frowned upon, but the buk continued to be an important symbol in Norwegian Christmas traditions.  Between Christmas and New Years, people would dress up in costumes and go from house to house, preforming skits and songs and being rewarded with holiday treats and drinks.  One of the people in the group would generally be dressed like a goat or buk.  The term for Christmas in Scandinavia is Jul, hence, Julebukking.

Norwegian immigrants brought this tradition to America where, according to the things I've read, the the practice began dying out. Well,  I'll tell you, it isn't dying out in Petersburg.  The practice of Julbukking in our little town might look a little different than it did 10-12 centuries ago but it is alive and well AND it certainly has grown.  My understanding is that in Petersburg, when my grandparents and parents were young, it was common for people to go from house to house and visit and eat yummy holiday treats and toast to a prosperous new year, well, at least toast.  I haven't heard about anyone dressing like a goat though.

When I was young, Christmas Eve was a time for people to gather down town and visit and do last minute shopping.   All of the stores had goodies for their customers.  Some even had spirits-to toast to a prosperous year.  I especially remember hot pastrami sandwiches at the drug store, spicy food at Marie's beauty salon, and cookies and finger foods at Hammers and Trading Union.  We called this Julebukking.  Now, 35+ years later, the Julebukking tradition has become stronger, longer and more wonderful.  Everyone gets into it, and it lasts for 4 days.  This year Piston & Rudder, Tides Inn, The Sons of Norway, Kim's, Miele Gallery and Petersburg Pilot started the holiday feasting off on Saturday the 21st.  I am very sorry I missed the Saturday kick-off and I thank all of business and organizations that welcomed people in.  If anyone has pictures of julebukking at any of these places on Saturday, I would love to include them in this blog.  Friends who no longer live here enjoy seeing familiar faces and places.

On Sunday the 22nd, Spiral North,  Life Cyclery and Wild Celery had little treats for their patrons.

Wild Celery is the place to get moose milk during the holiday season.   It's a must stop every year.  I was lucky to be shopping when the entire family was there and able to get family photo....Taylor, Ladd, Brenda, Ariel, Cade and Laurel.  What a beautiful family!  Thank you Brenda and Crew for the tasty drink and the wonderful service all year long!

Audrey with mom, Helen and Cade with Auntie Ariel met for the first time on December 22, 2013.  I wonder if they will remember it?

On Monday we were treated to goodies by the folks at Alaska Airlines, Papa Bear's Pizza, WAVE, The Fabric Basket and Lees.

My sister (in law) Darcey Hedland had her usual radiant smile for everyone who came to sample the goodies.   Lila and Grant seem to be listening to a good story.

Notice how carefully Eunice is putting Dave's krumkaka on the table.  He's watching with a critical eye...not really.  Great krumkaka Dave.  The table was beautiful Eunice.

Patty, Bev, Wendy and Roger......Roger?  I haven't seen Roger for years.  It looks like everyone's happy to see him and he is happy to see his big sister.

I see you Mel... is that 4 or 5 times back to the table:-)  This is one of the busiest times of the year for the people who work at Alaska Airlines and they still take the time to put together a feast for the community.  Thank you!

I drove to town from Alaska Airlines.  There was NO parking.  I had to park all the way up by the Elks.  Funny.... when I came down the hill, I ran into Cena and her adorable daughters Luci and  baby Ivy snoozing in the backpack.   They were all just coming from Papa Bear's with lunch. Look at all the people behind Cena.  They were waiting in line to get some of Papa Bear's delicious pizza.  The food was certainly worth the wait.  

 Craig and his daughters Taylor and Courtney and granddaughter Tayten wait in line for pizza. Believe it or not, standing in line is fun because people get to visit and catch up.

Papa Bear was serving pizza.  All of his little elf bears were keeping him supplied with the good stuff.  I think it's awfully nice for Scott to serve lunch to Petersburg.  Thank you Scott and all of your gang!

 The organization, Working for Violence Agains Everyone (WAVE) has a new director,  Annette Wooten.  Marlene, who is on the WAVE board of directors and Annette shared sweet treats and a nice visit with folks who stopped by the check out WAVE's new location.

Matt picked out a goodie to munch on while he visited with the folks in the WAVE office.  Thank you WAVE for everything you do for our community.  We should be bringing you the treats!

The Fabric Basket had Julbukking all day.  People could stop in to visit with Savann and munch on her home made treats from the time the store opened until it closed at 5:00.  

Savann's treats are always so good and beautifully displayed.  Thank you Savann for sharing your wonderful treats with us during this busy, busy time!


The last stop on my Julebukking trail, was Lee's Clothing.

I was warmly greeted by the Emma, Olivia and Pia.

Chris, Cindy, Bill and Bev enjoyed the treats and the conversation.

Rodney and Tom, Soren, Anna and Colleen had a chance to catch up on some stories.

Ross took a picture of me so I got him back;)

Mary, Mark, George, Joann and George had a chance to catch up.

 Finally, I made my way to the table, whew..... Judy and Heidi were serving coffee.  Coffee is one favorite Scandinavian drink.

 Heidi's daughter Mia served punch.  Doug filled his plate.

 Roxie, the founder of Lee's Clothing, with daughter, Heidi, kept the table stocked with delicious Petersburg treats.  Smoked salmon, pickled herring, krumkaka, spritz, shrimp and smoked salmon dip, soda crackers...yum!!

Cynthia, the manager of Lee's clothing and Jill took care of customers.  They did a lot of gift wrapping during the last few days before Christmas.

 Hayley surveyed the crowd and checked on the food table.

Holly helped my niece Mary find just the right gift for someone special.

The frosty tree in the window display was lovely.

Thank you ladies at Lee's Clothing for all of the tasty treats.  You shop is such a happy place to be during the holiday and every day!

These were some pictures of days two and three of Julebukking in Petersburg.  There is more to come.