Posted by: jr | December 20, 2009

The Swedish Christmas

A gingerbread house made in December 2003, photographed by User:Tcr25.The Swedish Christmas is a strong tradition and we celebrate it with family and relatives. Because it is a very child-friendly tradition the Swedes do not drink alcohol at Christmas dinner if children are included. Today’s Christmas celebrations is a mix of manners and customs of all times and from many countries.

Christmas lightsChristmas colors are red, in combination with green. Nobody knows anything about the origin of the colors, but everything, curtains, napkins, tablecloths, decorations, flowers, Christmas trees and Christmas tree decorations, etc., are red or green and belonging to the Swedish Christmas. And the Swedes have lots of elves, garden gnomes and a Santa and other Christmas decorations everywhere – indoors or out!!!

Christmas tree - Malene Thyssen, Eve is celebrated on 24 December and that’s when the Swedes dress the Christmas tree. The Christmas tree comes from Germany and the first Swedish-dressed Christmas tree appeared in 1741. Today you dress your Christmas tree with commercial Christmas tree decorations. A Christmas tree with lightchains are at the heart of every major Swedish street and the square, the heart of every Swedish town, village, community. Christmas is a time where you should be extra kind and generous. People take contact with each other in different ways with Christmas gifts and Christmas greetings.

At 15:00, everything is clear – the Christmas table is fixed, all the Christmas gifts under Christmas tree, all guests have arrived and the mulled wine waiting is on the table. It is time for Donald Duck and his friends, who originally is an American television program. It was presented for the first time on Christmas Day 1951 under the name The Walt Disney Christmas Show. Donald Duck was the first time on Swedish television in 1959 and has since been broadcast every Christmas Eve at 15. It takes about an hour and everyone sits and sees the program with great enthusiasm. They drink hot mulled wine in the meantime.

The Swedish Christmas dinner (Smörgåsbord) - - a file from the Wikimedia Commons

After Donald Duck, it’s time for celebrating Christmas. The most popular food is the Christmas ham.  It is to be found on every dinner table. Christmas dinner consists of cold dishes, hot dishes and desserts. A bowl of porridge or an empty glass of milk is put outside for the thirsty or hungry Santa Claus

The traditional Santa Claus comes and hands out the Christmas gifts after dinner. He looks like he does in all countries, and his sleigh is full with presents drawn by reindeer. It is very strange, but it is almost always the case that the family’s father or grandfather tends to miss Santa’s visit because they hurry outside to buy the newspaper, for example… They never learn… 😉

After Santa’s visit everyone opens their parcels and welcomes their Christmas gifts. The evening ends with Christmas games and lots of candy and good desserts.

That’s Swedish Christmas, Alina! No Christmas carols outside the door, just on the radio and on TV. Here are some examples of Christmas carols that we in Sweden listen to:


Please read if you want know more about:

//Andreea Soldan


  1. A very good presentation of how you celebrate Christmas.
    There are some similar things we do in Romania, too, regarding the christmas tree decoration, the gathering of the family, the traditional Christmas dinner. We usually have ‘Sarmale”, “cozonac”, “home made sausages”, “Chicken soup” ( you can see these foods on the photos posted on the blog, but we also have other delicious foods, and of course home made cakes. Something different in Romania is that the children and the young people go carol singing, from house to house, on Christmas Eve.
    And something important is to go to church before the Christmas dinner. The other days is a celebration, with visiting your realtives and friends, or waiting for them.

    I wish you all a warm and Merry Christmas!!!!

    Craciun Fericit!!!

    and a Happy New Year!!!!

    La Multi Ani!!!

    Greeetings from JUDIT

    • Your food is great I might say (A) 😀 !!

      Thank you and I say right back at ya: “Merry christmas1!!” (know I’m late to say that …)(A)

  2. no carolers?
    here thats what Christmas is all about 🙂
    all whats on that tabled looks delicious XD

    • yeah I know we are only with our family (often).
      I liked the carols AND the food :O :DDD

      • I ment the carols in Romania 😛

  3. well, that table looks ,brrrr, delicious like paul said..
    and, well, the Christmas is always beautiful, wherever you are.

  4. yes it looks delicious and the tree is verry ritch :Pnice job

    • heheh thanx!!

  5. that looks very good meal with goodies yumyyyyyyy:D:*

    • and the taste is great (A) 😉 hehe

  6. Very good presentation and I like of celebration Christmas

Thank you for your comment! // Christin@

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