Friday, December 17, 2010

Norwegian Sweaters Save Christmas



This is the native costuming of immigrant offspring where I grew up.   Our little corner of Iowa was packed full of Norwegians, better knows as IOWEGIANS.  
These sweaters are ridiculously expensive and therefore the only status symbol among unusually rigid frugal folks.  On the male gender they often substitute for a sport coat.  On the females they are to be worn with sensible slacks.  They are practical as they are beautiful because Norwegians wouldn't have it otherwise.  They are made from such high-quality wool that they can repel water.  And just scratchy enough on the inside to maintain a Norwegian's required daily discomfort level.  They are rated to 40 below.



Appropriate Iowegian family Christmas photos usually involve these intricate coverings.  And if most of the family, or at least those of the same gender, can wear the same print all the better.  Prospective marriage partners must sign legal documents stating their intent to purchase the family pattern before the next holiday photo date.


The above photo is NOT an Iowegian.  Norwegians don't wear their sweaters for active play.  They are for "good" much like those embroidered towels in the bathroom.  You don't muss them up outside.  You wear them to midnight services at First Lutheran, or to the Jul Fest at Luther College or the Christmas Fest at St. Olaf.  They are for quietly sitting and reflecting on your sins, suffering with good Lutheran guilt, and maybe chasing that down with some weak coffee.

PS - Homemade Norwegian sweaters are not acceptable, unless your great-great grandmother made it in Oslo and brought it with her to America in her rosemaled trunk. 




10 comments:

Anita said...

Oh the small things in life I didn't know? So do you have such a sweater? I actually like the man skiing....he can visit anytime...ha ha.

Missy said...

I love those sweaters but hate the cost. My new boss has already worn 3 different ones to work. I really like him, but he can stop showing off how much more money than me he makes! ;)

Missy said...

OH! And do not forget extra credit if you picked out your sweater on your pilgrimage to Norway.

BeckEye said...

Those pictures make me itchy!

SkylersDad said...

My father in law has one from his childhood that is from an era when they still oiled them for protection against the elements!

Liberality said...

This is funny. Never knew sweaters could be such status symbols. :)

Mommy Lisa said...

Too bad I married a silly German-sotan. I am from good Iowegian stock and Boo Boo would look fabulous Settesdal pattern. :P

Churlita said...

Ha ha. That's hilarious. I do love those sweaters though...But being Irish Catholic in Iowa, I'm banned from owning one.

Dr. Monkey Hussein Monkerstein said...

Funniest post ever.

evleky said...

Margaret, Very funny. golly ole funny story here about the Norweigan Sweater. You should write a children's book similar to The Lost Mitten on The Norweigan Sweater