When Dr. Thomas DuBois came to Seattle this fall to introduce his English translation of Johan Turi’s “An Account of the Sámi,” I was intrigued to find that my subdued childhood Christmases may have had something to do with Sámi tradition (as filtered through Laestadianism).
“It was a time to be very quiet,” Dr. DuBois said.
We certainly were that. In our Laestadian home, there were no “pagan” Christmas trees or lights, no Santas or carols, only a few fir boughs and candles, and a lot of cookies. We read from Scripture and sang hymns (softly). This was weak tea compared to story books and my classmates’ accounts of their holidays, and I was determined, when I had my own children, to make a big fuss of the holiday.