A thin long-haired Viking with a rough beard and deep-set blue eyes, moved to Tasiilaq in search for adventure.

MATTHIAS THE ADVENTURER

Once upon a time just before Christmas, a thin long-haired Viking with a rough beard and deep-set blue eyes, moved to Tasiilaq in search for adventure.

Matthias was his name and he was a teacher. This is his Christmas story.

WINTER IN TASIILAQ

Winter came early that year, but Matthias had settled well into snowy Tasiilaq.

His students loved him, he had made friends, and he even got a young Greenland dog. As more snow fell and Christmas beckoned, a fellow teacher, Peter, invited Matthias to celebrate Christmas Eve together.

Although grateful, Matthias decided to spend Christmas alone with his dog sleeping under the northern lights.

Matthias decided to spend Christmas alone with his dog sleeping under the northern lights.

The wind began to howl wildly, kicking up the snow and blinding Matthias’ vision.

THE DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS EVE

The adventurer began his Christmas trek on the 23rd December. As he had miles to walk, he brought as little as possible: a tent, a sleeping bag, and a gun. He planned on hunting and cooking his own food.

A few hours into his journey, the day had almost lost all of its light. The wind began to howl wildly, kicking up the snow and blinding Matthias’ vision. He decided to wait for the weather to settle inside his tent.

DINNER WITH A SMILE

A short time later, the weather calmed down. Matthias went out for a walk. Imagine a high fjord where rivers run down to the center of the valley. Jagged mountaintops  shape the skyline.

Deep, calm snow reflected the moonlight, brightening up the day. Suddenly, Matthias spotted a ptarmigan, his first potential meal of the day. He aimed his rifle towards the snowy-white bird. It hit its mark! Dinner tonight, Matthias thought happily.

He eagerly headed towards the bird, and his excited dog spurted off ahead of him. Licking its lips, it started devouring the ptarmigan! There was nothing left for Matthias. Tired and frustrated, he set up his tent to sleep in the darkness.

Suddenly, Matthias spotted a ptarmigan, his first potential meal of the day.

A loud crack suddenly filled his ears and the ice split open beneath him.

THE ICY ROUTE HOME

Cold, wet and with no food to cook, Christmas in the wild started looking less appealing. The next day started his hike home early. The air was white with snow blowing into his clenched eyes, leaving him half blind.

Matthias walked along the edge of the sea ice. He was making good speed home. A loud crack suddenly filled his ears and the ice split open beneath him. He plunged into the piercingly cold water.

Gasping for air, with only his head above the icy water, Matthias struggled to pull himself out and into safety. Shivering to the bone it took all his effort to trudge on home. It had been more than a day without food.

MEANWHILE IN TASIILAQ

On the edges of Tasiilaq town lies a very small hut. In this house, Matthias’ friend Peter was preparing a big Christmas feast complete with roast duck and potatoes, all for himself. He lit candles, set the table, and put Bing Crosby on the record player. It was Christmas Eve.

THE PRODIGAL FRIEND

Suddenly, Peter’s dogs started barking. Someone knocked on the door. Wondering who it was, Peter opened it. There stood his friend Matthias and his dog shivering outside.

Letting him in, Peter asked Matthias to join him for the dinner that he had originally invited him for. Having not eaten for more than twenty-four hours, Peter accepted gratefully.

He lit candles, set the table, and put Bing Crosby on the record player.

*This Christmas tale is inspired by true events.

THE MORAL TO THE STORY

This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, one that would mean many more Christmases together. Even if it wasn’t what he had imagined, Matthias’ first Christmas in Greenland turned out to be special after all.

The moral of the story? Bring provisions on a hike, don’t walk on thin ice, and cherish your friends….especially those who have prepared a Christmas feast!
 
*This Christmas tale is inspired by true events.