Can you feel home in Christmas, away from the geography where you grew up, away from that place where the concept of Christmas was created for you?
I am home, away from the decorated palm trees and the smell of wet soil when it is touched by the wind (the caribbean). Because there is always a chance to start new traditions, to be kind, be a friend, be a family.
This december, Christmas is specially true. I discovered that, as a moment in time, the demented jolly feeling of Christmas started was before christianism, with light, winter, and gnomes.
Christmas in Denmark brings out something older, before Jesus was born and the Coca Cola Santa Claus came into the picture with his cute reno Rudolph -and his red nose, flying from the north pole across the moon.
In Denmark, it is all about Nisse, an elf, a gnome that is smart-funny, that will not look at you in the eye, his eyes swallowed by a pointy hat (usually red) and a grey hipster beard, hiding and doing mischievous things for no reason.
What things? He hides objects, puts peanuts on random places, puts all sorts of things in random places. He will mess up with your head, make you doubt existentialism itself. He will put ribbons around the living room, put paint on the window, include plastic animals or toys inside the lunchbox of a little kid, decorate bikes, put sparkling stars on books, roll wrapping paper on the floor and make a parade of toys. He will give your dog a hat, lock the bike of a coworker and hide the keys in a secret place. He will hopefully forget a bottle of wine in your fridge. Ok, maybe I made that one up.
This is how he looks:
The tricks start as a game between parents and children, among coworkers and friends, but the hidden truth slowly unravels: They might just be real. Danes have a contagious Christmas psychosis, a -look me in the eye/im not sure about you- psychosis that is hygge in the fun, raw, naïve love that comes with-I trick you because I love you– sort of thing.
I have the feeling some people have actually seen them. I feel like there are micro ecosystems out there (beating life under the Scandinavian awesome light), where Nisse can be found, having crazy fun lives, sharp and smart, knowing everything better, watching us form another dimension with their 275 year old souls and discussing trick missions with their wise grungy voices. They are out there. When you have a strong connection to nature, it is only natural that beauty is existence, and existence is flow that is not questioned. In geographies like these ones, creatures with pointed hats roam around. They just do. I think I might have found one of the locations where they live. I saw it 30 minutes from the Ry station by car, near a lake. I have one in my house hiding my pen, my phone, my keys, taking some socks so I can never match the pairs entirely. And I wonder if anyone else is with me here and is also brave and cool to comment and share.
You, Nisse, are kick-ass. I know it is annoying to have you around but keep it coming. Don’t go anywhere.
For more Nisse trick ideas, google translate this:
This is an image that resembles the geography were It think they might be:
And I hear in Iceland there are jule lads. They are far more amazing than Santa.