I thought some people who read my blog and do not live in Sweden might be interested in what goes on here during the month of December. Sweden has so many traditions, it’s often hard to keep up (not to mention my kids have 12 Christmas concerts between them this month).
I thought I would post things during the month about the many Christmas traditions and activities that we celebrate in Stockholm. First, we begin with things we see this time of year around town:
Christmas markets are up all over Stockholm from the first of Advent. They sell Swedish handicrafts, glögg (spiced wine), candy, brandied almonds, etc. out of small red booths. People working the booths are usually dressed in old-fashioned outfits.
At the most expensive department store in town, NK (Nordiska Kompaniet), the windows are decorated with animatronic Christmas scenes. They are different every year and it’s a must see for children. Here is an example:
Almost every home in Sweden hangs a paper Christmas star in the window and many also have electric Advent candles.
Of course, in our family, we have the greatest Christmas decoration of all…. THE CLAWS!
When our son was 2 years old, his daycare class made Christmas decorations of Santa Claus. He apparently thought putting on the beard was the best part, since his had the biggest one in the class. When we came to pick him up, he took us to pick up his masterpiece and with his limited language skills, pointed to it and said, “THE CLAWS!”
The name has stuck.
Last winter, our family went to Prague for the Christmas market. We discovered a wonderful thing about Christmastime there – they start selling hot wine at 10 in the morning! No wonder the entire city was so happy! Stockholm needs to catch up with this. In fact, the whole world should catch up with this. The Czechs know how to make the holiday season a stress-free one. 🙂