So, when I was just a wee lad I vaguely remember some Santa Clause stuff and a few things that were relatively unique in our house. Being a fairly recent immigrant, my father had these little flags on a string. They were U.S. and Norwegian flags in about a five foot string. He would bake awesome Norwegian cookies that would test my self control to the limits. Until the year he died, 2006, he would always, without fail, send me at least a coffee can full of them. It was always one of the best gifts I would get and I always looked forward to it weeks in advance.
Elephant's Child. I remembered!)
One of the best traditions we had was listening to Yogi Yorgesson's Christmas songs. Harry (Skarbo) Stewart was a Norwegian American who had developed a Swedish shtick and the character of Yogi Yorgesson. He sang memorable songs such as, "I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas" and "Yingle Bells". There were other great tunes on the album like "Who Hid the Halibut on the Poop Deck?"
Seriously! What are the holidays without music? Or what passes for music.
One I hadn't heard until I moved out here to the Midwest was, " My Little Old Shack In Minneapolis, Minnesota" (sung to the tune of "My Little Grass Shack In Kealakekua, Hawaii,")
Now some people might think his Swedish accent is a bit over the top, but not by much. Modern Swedes don't sound like this, but in the old days when they learned English after they got here it was a different story. The Swedish chef on the Muppets has a strong Swedish twang. To me it is a friendly, matter-of-fact, genuine, and honest sound that is almost musical. Most accents from that part of the world have a sing-song quality to them that sounds so much nicer than my own monotone for example. Maybe it is my own upbringing with a father who never entirely lost his Norwegian accent that makes those sounds feel like a warm embrace to me. Funny and lovable all at once.