It’s xmas! Christmas Eve is THE day for celebration in Sweden. We spend all day preparing the food, eating clementines and home made sweets, listening to children asking ‘Can we open the presents yet?’, and then at 3pm everyone (except for most mums, they have to finish the food) sits down to watch some cartoons on TV (same show every year) and then we eat. We eat and we eat and we eat. It takes at least an hour, often more and it’s the same foods every year. After dinner, children whine over and over and over about their presents, but first there has to be desert, often a rice pudding eaten with milk and cinnamon, but as with all traditions it differs between families. Some time in the evening the entire family sits down near the xmas tree and open their gifts. If you’ve been nice (and there are children!) Santa has knocked on the door and asked ‘Are there any nice kids here?’ to which all kids of course replied ‘YES!’ so Santa comes in with his sack of presents and gives them out. But if you haven’t been nice, or if there are no kids in the family we just open presents by the tree.
This Christmas Eve I am working until 4pm and after that my mum will pick me up, we’ll rush to my flat to get the food I’ve prepared and to get the presents I’ve made and then we go to mums for our dinner. There are three vegans in the family and two omnivores (+1 extra this year as we have a visitor) so the xmas smörgåsbord always looks a little different from most families.