Listen to the latest bonus episode of our expat podcast as we make our yearly attempt to explain Halloween and Day of the Dead to the country of Sweden.
Available wherever you get your podcast by typing in “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow” or at any of the links below:
Autumn is the time to put away the flip-flops and bring out the fall jackets. No more sunglasses for the next 9 months, they are replaced with scarves and gloves.
I realized my gloves were missing and figured I lost them last year or they were taken by glove gnomes (cousins to sock-gnomes), but then when I pulled out my fall jackets, there they were, stuffed in the pockets!
Yea! What a lovely surprise! I also left some used kleenex from last year in case I had a need to catch the same cold again. I decided to pass on that, but it’s nice to know how thoughtful I am to future me.
In Sweden, we not only get spring break, we also get fall break. All of the kids are out of school and many families take a week-long trip. Our family is one of these this year. We are going south to some warmer weather for a week (hopefully – if it doesn’t rain).
I see fall break as a “last hurrah” before the harshness of winter sets in here. We do our time change this weekend, right when the break starts and by the time we get back, we could have temperatures below 0.
It’s fairly cold already and I’ve been refraining from wearing my winter jacket because I know once I put it on, I have to wear it for 6 months straight. But I’ve already decided that when we get back from fall break, I will give in. Then I will acknowledge that winter is upon us.
There is no Thanksgiving in Sweden. I sincerely didn’t hope you read this title thinking that there was.
For we Americans who live here, we try to celebrate with family either on Thursday or the weekend that follows. The toughest part is getting the ingredients needed, but as the American community grows and more Swedes are exposed to our customs, the easier it is to find. Turkeys were extremely hard to find when I first came here. Now they are quite easy. The toughest things are cranberries and pumpkin pie filling. We didn’t even have pumpkins available 10 years ago, but now they finally sell them so I choose to freeze the filling and use it for my pie. My other option is to search out a can at some overpriced shop where I have to pay over 10 dollars a can. No joke!
Cranberries are also becoming easier. Just 5 years ago they started carrying them, but it was always the week AFTER Thanksgiving and then no one would buy them. We will see how they do this year, but I have noticed that they now sell frozen ones in case we can’t find fresh.
I also usually get a recording of the Macy’s parade and play it in the background of our dinner. The Swedes really enjoy the dance numbers.
Unfortunately, I don’t mean the music group…
It’s become even darker this week. I woke my youngest son up today who kept complaining that I was a horrible mother for making him eat breakfast during the night. I totally agree.
In two weeks we have the time change. When this happens, I will go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. Did I mention I work in a basement? Expect crazier posts as the winter season continues.
It’s already getting darker outside. It’s supposed to be gradual after the autumn equinox. Just a couple of minutes a day. LIES! It jumped an hour earlier just 2 days after the equinox.
In just a matter of days, it’s already become harder to wake up and we are all contemplating when to switch to winter coats. The trouble here is that once you switch to a winter coat, you won’t be wearing anything else for the next 6 months. I’m trying to hold out as long as possible. I’ve added knee socks, gloves and a scarf. Next week I might move to a hat.