Going back to my hometown Stockholm!Living abroad makes you miss your family and friends A LOT! Although I really love living in Korea there are a few things that I will never get used to… Sweet bread and unsalted chips.
Besides food, I really do miss people, I wish I could have the best from both worlds living more near… but it’s impossible and I just have to get used to living in the middle, always wanted from both sides and my heart never being satisfied. 🙁 So I’m really really lucky that I could afford to visit Sweden for 2 weeks! And during the best family time CHRISTMAS! So Christmas in Sweden is like Chuseok in Korea, it’s for family, the time to give. So how do we celebrate in Sweden? So keep in mind that my mom is American so we do celebrate an American tradition too! But in Sweden, you actually celebrate on Christmas Eve! So for my family, we celebrate together with our Swedish relatives on the 24th and have our own celebration on the 25th.
What do we Swedes do on Christmas Eve?
Well everyone has, of course, their own traditions but I will tell you about mine and it is quite a typical way. So in the morning or around 11~12 pm, my parents (maybe me and my brother too) go to the graveyards to put flowers and candles on our great-grandparents’ graves. I and my brother usually get ready and then we all go to our grandparents’ graves to say a prayer and leave some candles and flowers. After that, we go straight to my aunts’ house where almost all the relatives meet and celebrate together. We have to be there before 3 pm because Donald Duck starts on TV. Say what? You heard me right, all Swedes watch Donald Duck (a Disney Xmas program) on Christmas Eve at 3 pm! It’s crazy but here is why. When my dad grew up, there was only one channel on TV and they only showed cartoons on Christmas Eve for the children. So it became a tradition, every year they send the same Donald Duck program. It’s an hour show packed with clips from Classic Disney movies and Mickey mouse & friends. We all know the lines cause we see it every year and the parents like it even more than the children cause it’s their nostalgia. It’s quite a funny tradition. After Donald Duck, we all sit down for Julbord! It means Christmas table. So Julbord is quite a feast, usually consisting a lot of fish and meats, but our family doesn’t like fish that much so here is what our Julbord looks like:
So the Ham is the most important part. Cause it takes hours to cook in the oven and you eat it later when it’s cooled down. We make it the day before and we have to taste it a bit haha. There is also sausages, meatballs, ribs, potato salad, home baked bread and cheeses, egg and shrimps And my moms’ American dish Jello salad! We also drink a special kind of soda called Julmust it’s similar to coca cola but has ginger in it. My family doesn’t drink, but we still sing a drinking song at the table and say cheers before eating. You can also tell that red is the color of Christmas, we do decorate a lot in Sweden. Everyone gets a tree and dresses it nicely. We also have a red Christmas star hanging in our windows and lots of candles! Swedish Winter is very dark and long so Christmas is the only happiness we get during Winter. So we all love to lit up as many candles as possible so we feel warm, cozy and love. After our Julbord dinner, it’s finally time for the present opening! All the presents are under the tree and if my little cousins our with us, I bet even Santa Claus comes knocking on our door giving them a few gifts.^^It’s so fun to see their shy faces haha. Like I said earlier because we are also an American family we will celebrate on Christmas Day as well. So we don’t open that many gifts with our relatives, we have to wait one more day! So next morning we wake up so early cause we are anxious to see what we all got from each other and Santa Claus. Yes, we have stockings hanging above our fireplace!
One last thing I want to introduce to you guys is typical Christmas snacks! One is, of course, gingerbread cookies, it says God Jul on them which means Merry Christmas. And below the Gingerbread cookies, we have Lussebullar which is Saffron buns with raisins on top. These we bake before Lucia Day (13th of December) Now that is a whole other holiday but it’s still connected with Christmas and oh so delicious they are! That is one of the things I missed the most my moms Lussebullar!
Lussebulle / Lussekatt means Lucia bread which is made from Saffron
Thanks for reading hope you had a God Jul! ^^