Nisse parties happen in many kindergartens, primary schools, church and community groups in Norway at Christmas time. Nisser are Norwegian Christmas elves. Children usually dress as nisser at Christmas parties and events such as concerts and dancing around the Christmas tree in little red suits, red-rosy cheeks and freckles.
As soon as we arrived at barnehagen (kindergarden), Lilu was on the make-up chair getting all nissed-up.
A regular activity at Nisse parties is dancing around the Christmas tree. Participants make circles around the tree and hold hands as they sing and walk around. Grøt (rice porridge) is served with raspberry sauce or cinnamon and sugar.
There is always a knock at the door and the children know who is there. They start singing På låven sitter nissen (In the Barn Sits the Elf) inviting Julenisse (the Norwegian Santa) to come in. He has with him a sack full of goodies. Clementines, raisins and chocolate are usual treats.
In luck, Julenisse called out Lilu’s name first. However, we hadn’t practiced what to do when Julenisse has a present to give. But she was quick to realise that the present was for her and was very gracious with the biggest ‘takk’ (thank you). You would think that Lilu would go for the chocolates first but Norwegian children seem to have different favourites. The raisins were the first to be gobbled and then the clementine.