It’s getting darker and colder in Stockholm. But luckily, when winter is coming, so is also christmas. I love swedish christmas celebrations. The best part is that it already starts in the middle of November, with the streets of Stockholm being decorated with lights. At the first of advent, people put up stars or advent candlesticks in their windows, lighting up the dark.
One of my favourite parts of the run-up to christmas is the swedish christmas pastries, such as lussebullar and gingerbread. Lussebullar are these delicious saffron buns with raisins in them. Around first of advent (and for the rest of december too for that matter), I usually get together with a couple of friends and bake lussebullar and drink glögg (mulled wine), a traditional christmas drink. Even more common is people baking/building gingerbread houses and decorating them.
Swedes celebrate during christmas eve (Dec 24th). Even though everyone have their own take on how to celebrate, for most people, I daresay, there are some features that have to be included. One hardcore tradition is watching Kalle Anka’s jul (Donald Duck’s christmas) on TV, which is broadcasted every year at exactly 3 pm. It is a one hour potpourri of clips from different Disney classics. Then of course, opening of the christmas presents stuffed under the christmas tree is one of the highlights of the day. But in my family, the food is the center of attention. The swedish christmas smörgåsbord. I could never get tired of it. What should be included is also a matter of family traditions and geography, but there are some general musts: christmas ham, herring, raw salmon, swedish meat balls, prinskorv (prince sausage), rice pudding, pork ribs, Janssons frestelse (swedish casserole) and of course, julmust (christmas sap).