Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas From Sweden

Now it’s the 25th. Christmas in the US. And somehow Santa managed to find us here in Southern Sweden and fill our stockings with goodies. My parents must be good friends of old Saint Nick because they sent the stockings in the mail to us but I’ll be damned if Santa didn’t write a little note telling us not to open them until today. And we followed the rules. I mean it is Santa right?

Christmas Eve was quite nice here in Sweden. We even went to church. And I don’t go to church. It was quite nice and a good experience mostly because it is something I never do. But whenever I do go into a church, either for sightseeing or for the occasional (as in maybe once every three years) service, I never feel anything. I always kind of expect to just because of the sheer magnitude of all the people who do have such strong feelings and experiences in church. But it doesn’t happen. I suppose I need to let that go and just appreciate it for a social and cultural experience. Which it is. And so I will.

After church was enough food to feed a small army. We were only seven so I’m not sure we constituted a small army. But we did some good work on the food. And it just kept coming. And it was delicious. And I kept eating it because that’s what I do. After numerous courses and drinks and various other delicacies we moved onto the presents.

I love the Swedish way of opening Christmas presents. It’s not just a free for all. Everyone sits around and one present is passed out at a time and one person opens the present. The spotlight is completely on them and everyone gets to ooh and ahh about the gift and then it is someone else’s turn. It draws everything out and makes it a much more intimate affair rather than the feeding frenzy that is so often depicted on TV and in the movies.

Finally we made it back to the house around 3am. Exhausted, full (maybe full in both the English and Swedish sense), and pretty happy overall. Even got a chance to talk to the family back home. They were prepping for dinner and waiting on Jultomten to make his appearance. Hopefully my dad gets to see him this year. For as long as I can remember he’s had to go out to buy milk. We always seem to run out of milk on Christmas Eve. Poor planning on the part of my parent’s if you ask me. But so it goes. Who knows? Maybe one of these days we’ll have enough milk.

So since we made it through Jul I guess it’s just a Merry Christmas to everyone back home.


  1. Merry Christmas my boy. We miss you, but know you are well taken care of there!!

  2. Merry Christmas!
    It must be another northern thing because we open presents one at a time. Someone plays "Santa" (usually me because I'm the youngest) and hands one present to each person and then we go around the circle opening them one at a time. Then "Santa" goes and picks out the next round of presents. But we enjoy each present!

  3. So, welcome to Sweden, though I can only recommend it during the summertime ;-)

    I found your blog trough Mogli's blog. It's always interesting to read others view of our country and traditions.

    I like that way of opening xmas gifts too, but I can tell you that some families have stopped doing it that way. Sadly enough, since it's much more pleasant this way.

    I hope the rest of 2007 will be good and the new year simply fabulous and hilarius FUN :-D

  4. @Alaska - clearly the northern latitude does something to the culture of a place. It's so dark that anything that can bring joy has to be extended.

    @life cruiser - glad you found the blog. Hope you enjoy it. THat is a shame that the dealing out of the presents one by one is dying. It is a great way to enjoy and give both the giver and the receiver some time in the spotlight.

    ENjoy the new year.

    @everyone else - God Jul och Gott Nytt År, or maybe even God Fortsättning, or how about Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  5. Merry Christmass and Happy New year..

  6. Thanks, you too. You know, when it comes around next time.