In the magical times of Christmas, there is a lot to be prepared and everyone in Sweden has their traditions to get into the Christmas mood. The tradition around Christmas varies in each family, some decorate the whole house with candles, and others go to their cabin in the countryside to get into the right Christmas mood.
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The Advent celebration in Sweden occurs on the four Sundays before Christmas Eve. On Advent, we in Sweden traditionally light candles. Most windows in apartments, houses, cabins and offices around Sweden are decorated with candlesticks that shine beautifully during the Christmas season. Many also take the opportunity to decorate their home for Christmas around the first Advent to get into the right Christmas mood. For a cozy breakfast on Advent Sundays, we light candles in the Advent candlestick that is placed on the table. On the first Sunday one candle is lit, on the second Sunday two candles, on the third Sunday three candles and on the fourth Sunday all four candles are lit.
In Sweden, many children have a Christmas calendar or Advent calendar as it is also called. In December, they can open one “window” a day until Christmas Eve, there is something exciting behind each “window”. Usually a small toy, a candy or a nice picture. The Christmas calendar is also shown on TV every morning until Christmas Eve with a new episode every day.
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Christmas Eve in Sweden is a moment we celebrate together with loved ones. Christmas Eve is often celebrated at the home of someone in the family or in the family's shared cabin. Below I will take you through the Christmas Eve celebration that our family has in the cabin.
After a long and expectant night, it's finally Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve night, Santa has been visiting and left a Christmas gift for the children under the Christmas tree. This gives the children an exciting and good start to the day. Then we cuddle and gradually begin to prepare for the departure to our cabin where the Christmas celebration takes place.
After lunch, the whole family travels to the cabin. When everyone is gathered, we have gingerbread cookies and mulled wine with almonds and raisins while waiting for the classic broadcast of Donald Ducks Christmas on TV. It may seem like something for the children, but as a rule, only we adults sit there benched in front of the tv while the children play in the room next door. Cartoons are not as big a thing for children anymore as they were when we adults were young.
After Donald Duck, we set up a large Christmas table where everyone contributes with something for the dinner. The Christmas table consists of a variety of traditional delicacies, Christmas ham, veal, eggs, herring, salmon, cheese and various sausages. For those who make it to the main course, mini sausages, meatballs, ribs and potatoes are served.
When everyone is satisfied with dinner, Santa comes and visits the cabin with all the Christmas presents. Santa comes walking along the road with a lantern and the children eagerly look out the window. This is the highlight of Christmas and the joy of all Christmas presents is great for both children and adults. After the Christmas gift opening, the children play with their new toys and we adults have coffee together. Then we round off the evening by dividing up what is left of the Christmas food
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