I had a student who made a comment about Christmas that stuck with me.
”Christmas is not only about religion. It is a festive season. Let’s just leave it at that”
I couldn’t agree more. Wether you are a traditionalist, cherish the day Jesus was born or just happy to have some extra days off work, Christmas is about eating, partying and socializing. A kind of one-size-fits-all-solution one could say.
In the secular, modern world there are some things that remain a tradition. So what does a typical Swedish Christmas constitute of? I’ve tried to highlight the pillars of our Christmas celebrations.
Watching a compilation of Disney cartoons on Christmas Eve
At 3 o’clock in the afternoon the magic happens. In the aftermath of the censorship of stereotypical cartoon characters, the quest for unpolitically correct elements has commenced. Me and my brother took on the challenge to scrutinize the Disney cartoons.
Robin Hood is definitely subject to animal cruelty. Who in the world would put too tight clothes on a poor fox? Mowgli and Baloo violate the Right of Public Access by stealing exotic fruits and berries.The list goes on and on…
And by the way, have you noticed that the old cartoons seem to appeal more to the parents than the children?
Celebrating Christmas with your superduperextended family
In Sweden, the nuclear family is shattered which automatically gives room for a somewhat different experience. On Christmas Eve, parents, children, new wives, old wives, new boyfriends, their children, pets, various in-laws and random peeps gather. Everyone and anyone is invited. The Christmas celebration gives you the ability to manage a very tight schedule, working your way through the homes of your relatives. The competition of who makes the best meatballs is on!
Creamyness in abundance
Swedish Christmas food offers a smorgasbord of calories.
- Jansson’s Temptation: Diced potatoes, anchovy and…cream!
- Ris a la mande. Rice pudding with a lot of…cream!
- Herring sallad: Made of different combinations of flavours and then….mayo!
A Swedish Christmas is a killer. Time to dust off that old gym card?
Complaining abut the lack or presence of snow
It’s a wicked,wicked winter wonderland. If we are lucky. Most of the time in southern Sweden, there won’t be a white Christmas. If the snow does fall, people are too scared to use local transport and afraid they would slip on a patch of ice. A single snowflake halts traffic and keeps people indoors.