Every year between Christmas and new years there is a major sale in all stores, it's called "mellandagsrea". And every year it starts earlier and earlier. This year it actually started on Christmas day! Yikes! People are crazy during these days! Ok, they are not ALL crazy, but those who have set their sights on something can get a bit overexcited. I, however, prefer to wait a few days before I head out and wrestle with people in the stores.
So this Monday I was off to Kalmar to do my "mellandags-shopping". It was not too many people out and about, only in the clothing stores. I think we stood in line about 30 minutes in one store...But overall it was a good shopping day. I found almost everything I was looking for, and at great sale prices. Yay!
It was very, very cold that day by the way!
This was the temperature outside when we drove to Kalmar. Brrr!!!
This is the store in which we stood in line for 30 minutes...
Left pic: I love this Christmas tree! It is so beautiful when the lights change. Right pic: And this was the weather conditions on the drive home...more snow...But we made it home safely :-) Thanks to my sister, who drove, hehe.
My Christmas Eve in pics December 26, 2010 11:16 PM Tweet
What a lovely Christmas it has been this year! Tons of snow, lots of delicious food, yummy Christmas candy, great gifts and a nice visit from relatives. A truly enjoyable Christmas Eve celebration I must say. And what better way to convey my Christmas Eve than through pics. So here it is. :-)
Left pic: First I picked up my sister and Diva. Right pic: Here they come :-) And off we went to mum.
Left pic:Rice pudding for lunch. One of our traditions is to hide an almond in the rice pudding and whomever gets it win a lottery ticket. But I didn't get it this year :-( Mum did.Middle pic: Here we, me and relatives, are playing cards and drinking glögg-martini. Right pic: At 3 PM time for - Donald Duck "From All of Us to All of You". A deeply rooted Swedish tradition, lol! It's true, the cartoon first aired in Sweden 1960, and has ever since been one of the most watched TV-shows every year in Sweden. Last year, 2009, it was number three on the list over "the most watched TV-shows in Sweden" with 3 294 000 viewers. Hehe.
Left pic: After Donald, time for food preparations. It is always busy in the kitchen on this day. Right pic: Lisen hoping someone will drop something without knowing it, so she can sneak up and grab it.
Yay! Food time! Here is our julbord! On it is for example; Christmas ham, meatballs, pickled herring in different sauces, brawn, chipolata sausages, ribs and my favourite, Janssons frestelse - Janssons temptation. Janssons consist of potato casserole with onion, pickled anchovies, bread crumbs and cream. Sooo good!
Left pic: We start of our main meal with a snaps of Absolut vodka. Cheers!!! Middle pic: This is my first plate of food. Right pic: And here is my second, hehe.
Lisen wondering when she can have some.
Left pic: Between meals this is what we snacked on, Christmas candy, yum! My aunt makes the best homemade fudge ever (below right)!!! Right pic: Diva want some too!!!
Left pic: Finally time to unwrap all these gifts. Right pic: Lisen loooves getting and opening gifts, lol!
I like getting gifts too, and I got some, ehum, unexpected gifts this year. Like a tool box, which I thought was very unnecessary at first, but then when I got home I realized that it's probably better to have all tools, screws and such in one place. So it was a good gift after all. I also got a mini snow shovel for my car, unexpected but greatly needed now for sure, a calendar, face mask and some other stuff. But as always, my favourite gift to get is MONEY! Which I got this year, yay! And tomorrow I'm off to Kalmar to spend it all at this years big Christmas sale, yihaaa!!!
After we had ripped open our gifts we ate (forced down) some cake and then just chatted and played some games. In these pics Lisen and Diva looks pretty much how I felt after this day, stuffed and tired. Hehe. But it was a lot of fun and I had a wonderful Christmas Eve, as I'm sure they did as well.
I can't believe it's actually Christmas Eve tomorrow! It feels weird. Like I'm about one week behind. Oh well, no matter how I twist and turn it's still December 24th tomorrow, hehe. So, I'd better get with the programme. And I can't even describe how much I look forward to all the food!!! Yuuuummy! However I still have some gift shopping to do...yikes! And besides that I have to clean, both my apartment and dog. So today is going to be a busy day for me.
But before I get started, me and Lisen want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Here is Lisen on our morning walk today. It has been snowing heavily during the night and will continue to do so today and tomorrow. We are supposed to get about 30 more! centimeters of snow. So we will definitely have a white Christmas in Karlskrona this year.
I made this little dessert thingy one evening when I had an intense craving for something sweet. It's one sliced banana, some crushed gingerbread, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. I made it in like a minute, hehe. Yuuuummy! And sweet, with a taste of Christmas.
Today we celebrate Lucia in Sweden. Which means that across Sweden you can hear and see Lucia march and sing carols with her entourage of maidens - tärnor and star boys - stjärngossar. On this day we also eat Lucia cats (see my previous postLucia cats all over the place for more info about these buns).
Here in Karlskrona we choose a Lucia every year to represent our city. Her job is to visit different places around Karlskrona and sing. Tonight it was time for Lucia and her entourage to sing at our town square, Stortorget. So to town I went, even though it was freezing outside! Traditions, traditions, lol!
Below are some pics from this evening, and a short video of Lucia and company singing a traditional Lucia song called "Natten går tunga fjät".
Originally our Lucia celebration is based on the saint Lucia, a holy virgin of the 200's who lived in Syracuse, Sicily. However, her destiny to be killed for her Christian faith has nothing to do with our Swedish Lucia tradition. Actually, our current Lucia tradition did not emerge until the late 1800s. But as long as the Julian calendar was used, the solstice fell on December 13, and Lucia was also a harbinger of better times and longer days.
Sources: nordiskamuseet.se, historiesajten.se
If you want to read more about Swedish Christmas traditions CLICK HERE!
Today is Advent third. And besides lighting a candle in my Advent candlestick and eating rice pudding every Advent Sunday, I try to visit at least one old fashioned Christmas market every year. So this afternoon I decided to uphold yet another of my December traditions. I grabbed my sister and off we went to an old farm called Hässlelyckans gård, located a few kilometres outside of Lyckeby. Every Advent Sunday they have a small and cosy Christmas market here, inspired by the 1600s.
In the above pic is the farm, Hässlelyckans gård. Second pic from above; a suspicious doggie. I bet he thought those Christmas goats looked a bit weird (which they do). LOL! In the third and fourth pic; more Christmas goats, and a stand where they sold different kinds of smoked fish.
And here are some pics of the old farm shop, which was filled with lovely traditional home made products. Like different kind of drinks made according to traditional recipes, home made crisp bread, candy, honey etc. I bought something called juniper berry root beer. All in all it was a nice and charming Christmas market. :-)
Yesterday I helped my mum bake Lucia cats - lussekatter, also known as saffron buns or Saint Lucia buns. It's a tradition to eat them on December 13th in Sweden, when we celebrate Lucia. (You can read more about how we celebrate Lucia and the origin of this tradition on my Christmas page.) Now, I'm not a big fan of baking, I prefer cooking, so I would never make these on my own. But they do taste best when they are home made! So in order for me to grab a few from mum with a good conscience, I decided to help her bake them (well, roll them into shapes), anyway :-) Here are some pics.
The dough, unfortunately not too tasty raw :-(
Different shapes, the classic shape is S. My mum likes to fill them with either almond paste or lingonberry. But I prefer "normal" ones, with just raisins, though the other two alternatives taste great as well.
And here we have the finito productio. With an almond paste filled classically shaped Lucia cat on top of the pile. Yuuummyyy :-p
In Sweden we have a countdown to Christmas, which starts four Sundays before Christmas Eve. And it's called Advent. Advent first, second and so on. This countdown is marked by lighting a candle in an Advent candlestick each Sunday.
Growing up we always ate rice pudding - risgrynsgröt (like a porridge) on these Sunday mornings in my family. And of course this is something I still do, like an obsession. Or perhaps I should call it tradition, LOL!
Here is my bowl of rice pudding I had this morning, topped with cinnamon and sugar. Usually you have milk with it as well, but I prefer without. The rice pudding can be eaten hot or cold. And behind the bowl is my Advent candle stick with the first lit candle.
Another Advent tradition is to have Advent stars and candle sticks lit in your windows. In the left pic you can see how I have decorated my window. The right pic is of my neighbourhood. In this pic you can see how almost every window have these decorations, even though they look tiny, hihi. And now that our Advent season has kicked off, it's time to buckle up, hold on tight, and don't let the stress bugs bite :-p
Advent is Latin and comes from the Latin word "Adventus Domini" which means "coming of the Lord". Today's Advent celebration is a phenomenon that emerged during the 1900s. Advent stars, Advent candles and Advent calendars became popular in the 1930s in Sweden. Source:nordiskamuseet.se
If you want to read more about our traditions during December, and how I celebrate Christmas - CLICK HERE.