Hey there! It’s been a while (again). I’m still trying to adjust to being a working girl along with finding time to blog and make it to yoga! Christmas is seriously sneaking up on me this year and I wanted to make sure to give you all a little taste of Christmas… Swedish style! I thought about naming this post ,”How to Celebrate Christmas Like a Swede,” however, as I am clearly not Swedish… I figured it might be a little bit more appropriate to fill you in on some fun Swedish traditions and that Scandinavian style I love so much. And besides, who said you needed to be Swedish to celebrate like a Swede?!
Swedes definitely know how to enjoy themselves this time of year, and I’ve gotta say, its refreshing for me to see such old traditions still at practice… I wish I could say that my family in the US still had some old German or Italian traditions that we take part in, but as far as I know, we do not. We of course have our own family traditions that I love, but not ones that are linked to our heritage. So, Swedish it is! May I encourage you to pay particular attention to #4?
1. Get yo-self a Christmas Star! That’s right. It is not a Swedish Christmas without those lovely Christmas stars hanging in your window. I definitely see fewer Christmas lights in general over here (perhaps because of apartment living?), but those stars are everywhere! They add a nice warm glow to any window and come in all colors and sizes. Get yo Christmas Star here. (yup, Ikea!)
2. Decorate with bulbs. Amaryllis, to be exact! I really love this tradition because despite the colder weather and snow of the season, Swedes decorate with bulbs! In fact, friends of ours gave us a bulb in a clear glass pot when they came over for Thanksgiving and I absolutely love it. Why not try this out for a cheap and simple holiday gift? I’m telling you, it will be a hit.
3. Light Advent Candles. Sounds religious, right? I thought so, too, but these are also widely used, despite Sweden being ranked as the least religious country in the world. They display them in a row and light one every Sunday counting down until Christmas. Why not get creative and make your own? Try this cute DIY here.
4. Drink Glögg! My favorite of all. Glögg (pronounced Glug), literally meaning mulled, is the beloved tradition of drinking mulled wine often mixed with brandy on the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. It is not at all limited to Sundays and makes for a great social gathering, which also includes eating Swedish pepparkakor, or gingerbread (more similar to a Ginger Snap cookie). Click here for a Glögg recipe. We went to a Glögg gathering a few weeks ago, where we also decorated oranges with cloves. It felt so old school and I loved every second of it it! Lets bring it back, people.
5. Say God Jul! The Swedish way of saying Merry Christmas is much more fun. You’ll know your saying it right if your mouth is in the perfect “O” shape the whole time. Try it. “Goooohd Yule!”
And there you have it! Your guide to celebrating Christmas like a Swede. If you’re diligent about it, you just might even get paid a visit by Santa, I mean – Jultomten, on Christmas Eve! Yes, Santa hand-delivers Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve to all the Swedish children. How great is that?!
PS – I’d love to hear about your own holiday traditions! Please share :)