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Merry Christmas from Sweden

Merry Christmas! I hope you are enjoying the holidays. I am celebrating Christmas in Dubai, but it is a little difficult to find the true Christmas spirit here in the sun, so I have asked my friend AC to tell me about how she celebrates Christmas in Sweden:

I am from Sweden but my boyfriend is from Norway, and I have noticed there are quite a lot of differences between the Swedish and the Norwegian way of celebrating Christmas. We live in Farsund in Norway and in this region a lot of people emigrated to Norway long time ago, only to return years later, with lots of American culture in the luggage.

Farsund is thus very Americanized (we have one of the world’s top Elvis impersonators) and many of the traditions associated with the festive season are more American than typical Norwegian. Though this year, we are celebrating Christmas in Sweden, so I thought I would focus on telling you about how my family celebrates Christmas in Sweden.

In Sweden, Christmas Eve starts at 3pm, when the entire family gathers in front of the tv to watch Donald Duck Christmas cartoons (Disney’s from all of us to all of you). We eat pepparkakor (gingerbread cookies) and drink gløgg (mulled wine). In Sweden we like our pepparkakor with blue cheese, and you can even buy special blue cheese spreads particularly for pepparkakor. 

Christmas dinner in Sweden consists of several different dishes. It is different from family to family what you eat for Christmas, but you will typically find lutfisk (dried fish soaked in water before serving), braised red cabbage, creamed kale, pickled herring, salmon, eggs and prawns, prinskorv (small sausages), beetroot salad and Janssons Frestelse, which is a dish made with potatoes and fish. The make-or-break of the Christmas dinner is the Christmas Ham with is prepared smothered in a mix of mustard, whipped egg and breadcrumbs, and it should be large and juicy. We drink Christmas beer, julsnaps (Christmas schnapps) and julmust (a special Christmas soda) with the food. (For dessert we eat Ris a la Malta, which is a kind of cold rice pudding served with fruit syrup or berry sauce. 

After dinner, some people dance around the Christmas tree, but not in my family. Instead, it is now time to open the Christmas presents, and who knows, maybe Santa comes by this year?

Merry Christmas from Sweden!

My Swedish friend AC in Norway

My Swedish friend AC in Norway

My friend AC is from Sweden and we met, when we were both studying at the university in Gothenburg. Through the years we have visited many places together, and we have some amazing memories from Hong Kong, Bangkok, Seoul, Las Vegas and a number of other cities. AC used to live in Oslo, but she has recently moved to Farsund with her boyfriend from Norway.  

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