Kristina Hultkrantz is a Swedish-American artist based in Stockholm who I had the pleasure of meeting last summer. Kristina is a self described "illustrator, dreamer, dancer, dog lover, doodler, domestic goddess, and a major girly girl" and I had a lot of fun chatting with her in Stockholm. Today Kristina will take us to visit her Swedish grandmother's house, which is full of many Santas and other fun holiday things... enjoy!
December in Sweden is one of my favorite months despite it being the darkest month of the year, and one of the coldest as well. (The sun rises at about 9am and sets at around 2:30pm here in Stockholm.) Advent stars in every window, fairy string lights adorning the streets and store fronts, and oversized Christmas trees in every neighborhood, makes the darkness not seem so bad. I love Christmas in Sweden!
There are quite a few traditions considering Swedes aren’t very religious. Everyone has at least one advent star shining from a window or two, maybe even an advent countdown calender or candle too. Lussekatter (saffron buns) and gingerbread cookies must be eaten all month long, preferably with glögg (mulled wine.) You also have to attend at least one Julbord (Christmas smörgåsbord dinner) per season with colleagues, family or friends, or all three. We also celebrate one day early on Christmas Eve so the holiday can last just a tad bit longer.
Every year I have the tradition of taking the train five hours across Sweden to visit my Grandparents for a few days, where they live in the gorgeous seaside town of Halmstad.
There I get to admire all of their Christmas decorations, gorge on too much food and sweets, and get maybe a pinch spoiled (as one should at one's Grandparents house). Christmas is also their favorite holiday of the year.
They have many, many Santas found through out the entire house, ugly Christmas sweaters, lots of fairy lights, and even have a Christmas china set for festive dinners all December long.
My only wish (and many other’s wish too) were for Christmas to last only a little while longer, so dark Swedish winters wouldn’t feel so very long. Therefore most people put off taking down their lights until well into January… maybe even February.
God Jul from Stockholm!
Thank you Kristina! What a treat to get to visit your Swedish grandmother's house today and see all her Santas :) I wish you a happy holidays with your family and thanks so much for sharing with us! xo