Compared to Americans, as everyone knows, people in the Nordic countries — and here I am speaking of the blond, blue-eyed natives who descend from generations of Christians (and, before that, followers of Thor and Odin) — are not big believers these days, and do not spend a lot of time in church. But that does not mean they are not devoted to their Christian heritage. At least in Norway, which is probably the most culturally conservative of the Nordic lands, Confirmation is still a universal rite of passage. Most of the official national holidays are Christian holy days, even if most people could not tell you exactly what Ascension Day and Pentecost commemorate. At Christmastime, the main streets are decked out with lights and wreaths, every home has a Christmas tree, and you cannot turn on the radio without hearing Christmas songs.