Monday, January 17, 2011

The Swedes

I have a Swedish friend who has spent the last several years indoctrinating me with the 322 national celebrations of Sweden. It does not cease to amaze me week after week, all throughout the year, as she relates the joys of yet another Swedish holiday.

In fact, we were just over at her house the other day celebrating "the throwing out of the Christmas Tree" festival, somehow I forgot the Swedish word for this. Anyway, this cheery celebration includes dancing around the tree singing silly Swedish songs, removing all the decorations, eating the ornately designed gingerbread house, and the whole event is then capped off by throwing the tree out the door.

If you don't believe me that there is a national holiday every other week, check this out and you will know that I'm not pulling your leg. Not only do a thousand of these festivals exist, but the Swedes are pretty serious about celebrating them. At least that's what I observe from my one Swedish friend. She does represent all of Sweden doesn't she?

Whether or not she represents the whole nation, I gotta say, I love the Swedes.

They are a hearty and kind people.

They love to be naked.

They make magical buns of delight. But instead of bacon, theirs are sweet buns filled with all kinds of nordic surprises.

And as described above, they love to celebrate. It seems to me that it doesn't really matter the reason.

It's dark eighteen hours a day... let's gather around the bonfire.

The light is returning... let's party.

Time to say goodbye to Christmas... let's join in with the neighbors as we all toss that big bristly bush out the door.

All this to say, my Swedish friend has taught me a thing or two about winter, cold and carrying on.

It's a good thing too. The other morning it was somewhere in the realm of negative ninety degrees outside. My husband called on his way to work to report that I had left the interior lights on all night in the car. He wished me luck on getting it to start.

It didn't. After much cursing and dumbfounded acknowledgement of how I could possibly do something so dumb I accepted the fact that we were walking to school. Despite the children bundling up into puffy little snowmen, about halfway there I became increasingly concerned about all of us turning into icicles. The children pulled the baby sled in an attempt to keep the blood flowing. We began running. The baby's hood wouldn't stay on and his hair was flapping in the wind. I don't think we've ever run so fast in our lives, on snow that is.

And after warming up in the school building for a few minutes we regained sensation in our extremities Bubba and I embarked on our run home. When I turned around to make sure the baby was still hanging tight in the sled I saw this bluebird sky.

And I knew there was reason to celebrate. The joy of having legs that run. The fantastic sensation of lungs that breath. The great and mighty sun that shines. And babies that say "WOoHoO!" all the way home.


  1. I so want my own Swede now! I love a good festival. Might even get the Christmas deco down in a decent time frame if there was a party for it. Beautiful blog!

  2. I've known a few Swedes who party every week, but I'm not sure that it was related to any particular Swedish holiday. In any case, it sounds like fun times! Especially the part about eating the gingerbread house :)

  3. AWWW, so sweet. Yes there are a lot. I think it's what get's us throw the hard times and the hard winters but also just cause I think we as a nation need a reason to join together for celebration, or just not isolate, since swedes aren't as open and forward as the americans for instance. We do like to celebrate but especially when away from home.
    My brother does not however like holidays. So I guess not everyone.
    Next coming up is I think in US fat Tuesday. When we do the fasting buns or fatting buns for the fasting later. It's sweet cardemum buns with almond paste in it and then whipped cream on top with the lid of the bun on top of that. If you really want to partake in all of them Judith Hold ON I"LL TAKE YOU ON A SWEDISH RIDE!!!!!

  4. Holy Heavens, make me a fattening bun girl. I knew you had more nordic treasures up your sleeve.

  5. I now realize looking up your fabulous study in Sweden on Wiki that the bun I'm talking about is there it's the "semla". Oh yes we will have some this year. Tuesdays starting in Feb after a bowl of soup.

    The only thing not quite right on wiki was partying on April 30th is not mostly University students it's even worse with the teen especially the 14-16 year olds.

    Yum yum.


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