Christmas Anarchy in Sweden
Like most things in Sweden, the Christmas season unfolds in a hyper-structured, highly organized, regimented manner.
Unlike in the US and UK where the Yule build-up begin as early as September with sales and Christmas music in shops, Sweden marks the official start of Christmas on the first Sunday of Advent.
The holiday kicks off with the lighting of the first Advent candle; a decorative light with four candles representing each Advent Sunday.
The Swedish Church began to light Advent candles during mass in the late 1890s.
Initially lit in small Christmas trees later wood or metal candleholders became available. Today many versions, traditional and modern, appear in windows all across Sweden during the Christmas season.
Every Swede lights an Advent candle or else!
This Advent candleholder should not be confused with the mandatory triangular shaped electric candleholder which every Swede puts in their windows or else.
Most important, Sweden’s Aryan Lights of Christmas Policy requires that any additional electric holiday light bulbs must be white.
I’ve seen homes with multicolored electric lights once or twice. This lasted a day or two then I never saw these people again.
Any variation risks the Swedish Cultural SWAT Team repelling into your home on tinsel while tossing Christmas ornament flash grenades and spiriting you away to Sweden’s version of Guantanamo Bay, a Yule gulag AKA a secret IKEA labor camp for your Christmas cultural re-education.
How did you think they produced such affordable furniture? Gnomes?
“ Where did Johan go?”
“ Colored lights”
“ Ah most unfortunate”
One year my daughter left her star in the window past the Christmas season. To add insult to injury during the Christmas trimming of our apartment she drew a smiley face with a can of snow spray on the window.
Now, we live in an apartment but our neighbor’s horrified judgmental disapproval my daughter’s self expression tempts me to buy a house simply for the joy of filling the house and lawn with grotesque American multiple colored Christmas decorations.
In Sweden, Swedes express it in a way that represents their uniform, lagom or ‘we are all the same’ culture.
When in Sweden do as the Swedes do or risk spending timein a holiday re-education gulag.