Lifecruisers xmas Day sleep in
Jenny Nyström 1906

This is how half of our xmas day has passed! We woke up at 3 o’clock in the afternoon! Man, were we in a big need of sleep and relaxation….!!!!

I said xmas eve: “tomorrow I’m gonna sleep until I wake up, without any alarmclock for once”. I think I’ll make this as a xmas tradition.

I’m so glad that we didn’t have to go to the julotta – a Swedish old-fashioned xmas tradition to go to a very early church service on Christmas Day morning. From the beginning it was 4 o’clock then it was changed to 6 o’clock in the morning.

In the old days they were going there by horse and sleigh and it was the most beautiful horses and harness they used. And that fact may have been the only way to get me there in that hour in the morning…

This day will go in slow motion over here. We’re having real xmas peace. Except for my terrible headache I have, that’s not peaceful at all ;-)

Yesterday morning we did get xmas stockings – not from ourselves or Santa, but from my oldest sister. She is just so sweet. She loves xmas, has always done. She wanted to give us a xmas like in the childhood.

There was magazines, candy and a photo frame with a part of a big xmas poster that we used to put up on the wall when I was a child. The rest of the poster she gave parts of to my other siblings and mother too. As memories of old times. Great idea really, she is very creative.

Xmas eve we spent together with my Mom the whole afternoon and later in the evening at my brothers home. We were about 20 persons there with both my family and my sister in laws. Everyone was bringing some traditional xmas food with them.

What is traditional Swedish xmas food and drinks?

We’ll start with some glögg – mulled wine with some gingerbread cakes. In the glögg there should be a lot of raisins and almonds and a few drops of cognac.

Instead of the turkey we serve xmas ham as the main food, even if some people serve turkey too. There must be mustard for the ham. At the side of the ham we eat boiled potatoes or turnip & potato mash. Some people even have au gratin.

Other typically food that could be on the xmas dinner table is: pickled herring, “sillsallad” – a kind of beetrot salad with herring, raw spiced salmon, smoked salmon, smoked eel, luthefish, egg halfs with white roe or shrimps, pigs trotters, sausages, small links, Swedish meatballs, pork ribs, red cabbage, brussel sprouts, malt bread, Rice a la malta – and rice pudding with a lot of cinnamon.

Janssons temptation is a gratin type dish of tinned sprats cured in brine (kind of herring), onion & sliced potato that most certainly is there too, which by the way Mr Lifecruiser is an expert on making :-) Normally I don’t like Janssons, but I do like Mr L’s!

To the food we drink Christmas brew (dark beer), pilsner beer, lager and schnaps. For me, the schnaps must be Aalborgs akvavit from Denmark, but I know that many drink SkÃ¥ne akvavit from Southern Sweden. Together with the schnaps we always sing traditional xmas carols for every toast we make. The youngsters always think that this is very embarrassing… *lol*

I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures – I’ll have to remember to take photos next year :-)

To the coffee afterwards we eat Lussekatter and maybe have a whisky or cognac. There are also stewed fruit, fig, jelly, candy, toffee, hazelnuts, walnuts – all kind of nuts (which reminds me of the fact that we have lost our nut cracker!), raisins, marzipan, ice chocolate and lots of chocolate boxes.

No wonder people need to get out walking off all the fat…

Something else that has been very traditional is to light sparkler’s, but I hardly don’t see that any more over here.

We do have the tradition with the mistletoe over here too, but it’s not that spread as in the U.S. and personally we don’t have it in my family. I can’t remember that we ever had, but maybe I was too young to remember.

Mr Lifecruiser and I don’t need any mistletoe since we’re kissing all the time anyway ;-)

There is one thing on the TV that has been almost holy and that is a special program with Disney’s movies that Swedish TV is broadcasting at 3 o’clock with classic’s like Kalle Anka (Donald Duck), Musse Pigg (Mickey Mouse), Pluto and Ferdinand (the bull sniffing the flowers in the cartoon).

Santa comes to deliver the xmas gifts after the xmas dinner in the evening and only if you’ve been nice during the year of course. Often it’s some one of the family members that’s dressed up as Santa, but some familys talk somebody else into come and play Santa, so the kids won’t recognize him too easily.

An old tradtition is to ryhme to every gift, but there is many familys that don’t do that anymore. As there is many familys that just deliver the gifts without any feelings at all, just ripping up the wrapping without any feeling. It’s a pity. It’s more exciting to handle over one gift in a time and that person have to open that one before the next one is handled out.

Though we have skipped the xmas gifts in that way, we only buy for our nearest ones, so we didn’t have any gift opening over at my brothers place since we are too many. We opened our xmas gifts from Mr L’s daughter and our best friend Miss Ass. Lifecruiser when we arrived home again.

We had only wished for lottery tickets since we live compact living and don’t want any extra things to take up space here – and we got lottery tickets in mass! We won a smaller amount on one which we’re going to buy new lottery tickets for, so we still have that chance to become millionairs ;-)

We had such a wonderful time with a really wonderful family and relatives. No fuss, no argues only a very merry group of happy persons enjoying xmas traditions together.

That’s a typical Swedish xmas eve in a nutshell.

8 Comments on “Swedish Christmas traditions”

    happy and blue 2 said:

    Sounds like a really nice Christmas. Except for the fish. Yuck, ha,ha..
    Merry Christmas..

    Lifecruiser: Yes, I know…. It does sound gross… I’m not that fond of fish myself, but somehow it grows on you, so I can eat it nowadays and even think that it’s good. But not too much! Hope you’re having a wonderful xmas without fish ;-)

    Teena CANADA said:

    Thanks for sharing :)

    Happy holidays :)

    Lifecruiser: I hope you’re having real happy holidays too Teena :-)

    Shazzer SWEDEN said:

    I’ve lived in Sweden for over 4 years now and still haven’t learned how to get excited about julbord. What’s worse is that they repeat the same awful food for Easter (with slight variations) and again at midsommar. Good on you for adapting so well!

    Lifecruiser: Welcome here Shazzer :-) He he… Of course I adapted well – I’m born here! *LMAO* But I still think it’s not the very best of foods :-) Oh, and welcome back here any time!

    Melli UNITED STATES said:

    Sounds like Christmas was verrrrrrry pleasant at your house and in your neighborhood LC! In our family we always passed the presents one at a time and watched each one be opened too… and that is how we do it with OUR children. But my husbands family always passed out ALL the presents at one time and then each person opened all of theirs at once! UGH! I don’t like that way! We watch each gift be opened and we oooh and ahhhhh and have FUN while it’s all happening! It takes us HOURS to get through the gifts on Christmas morning! (and for all the money I spent – it SHOULD!) LOL!

    I’m glad you had a very relaxing and peaceful holiday! Life is GOOD!

    Lifecruiser: It sounds like you got it exactly rigth there, as it should be and I’m very pleased to hear that :-) The more we can have fun or enjoy something the better!!!

    RennyBA said:

    What a wonderful Christmas post. Even coming from Norway I felt almost like home and we do very much the same. I’ve never had Jansons fristelser though – hope to taste it one day!
    I also remember the horse and sleigh ride with the bell on the horse and nice, white snow. those where the days!
    Thank you for sharing these traditions in all its details – a really great read!

    Lifecruiser: Funny you’re mention that Renny, because our Norwegian friend were refusing to acknowledge Janssons frestelse as a edible dish and always told us about the Norwegian Rakfisk instead, so what we did was to take with us all the ingredients to Norway when visiting them to taste the Rakfisk and Mr L did the Jansson there. Our friend tasted it and thought it was good enough since he took one more portion of it :-)

    Marie SWEDEN said:

    Often it’s some one of the family members that’s dressed up as Santa

    Say it isn’t true, Mrs L! We had the real tomte come to our house. I know by brother-in-law had an urgent errand just before tomte arrived, but I’m certain that was just a co-incidence, wasn’t it? :mrgreen:

    Our Christmas Eve was similar to yours as was the food on the julbord. I rather like the Swedish julbord as most of the food on it is “once-a-year” stuff for us. And I guess I love sharing it all with family.

    Sorry about lack of comments/posting for the last week. Blogger Beta trouble….grrrrr…..

    Lifecruiser: Welcome back Marie :-) Uhum… busted. *blushing ashamed* Have I given away the secret now? But wait, maybe it’s just here Santa isn’t coming? He skip this place because it’s too close to the airport and he might bump into an airplane or something in the airspace…. He must call the tower first for landing permission first…. *lol*

    Dot said:

    I enjoyed reading about Christmas in Sweden. It`s a shame that gifts are opened so fast and many traditions are being lost over the years.
    Happy New Year to you and the Mr.

    Lifecruiser: I’m glad that you enjoyed them Dot :-) Yes, it reallly is a shame. Sad. I hope the end of 2006 and the beginning of 2007 will be fantastic for you and your family!

    Hillary UNITED STATES said:

    What an interesting read. It’s always great to hear about Christmas traditions in countries other than the United States.

    Hillarys last blog post..Hillary Clinton Nutcracker

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