Om Anders braskar, skall julen slaskar

Before I get to the meaning of the title of this post, it is November 30th allihopa! The last day of dreary November is nearly over and we are one step closer to a fun filled Christmas in Sweden.

That means drinking, celebrating and passing out!

Which begs the all important question: will it snow on Christmas? And by Christmas, we mean December 24th. Not the 25th for you Americans.

For that, we ask Anders, the man who has November 30th as his namesday. It is said that if snows on this day, it will not on Christmas.

I know it is early in the day, but if anyone sees it snow in their region, send me a photo, and we’ll post which cities may not be getting a white Christmas this year.

View from Kista. Photo by S.

View from Linköping. Photo by Jesica

NK’s Jul Christmas Display Collection is Up

Oh thank god! Grey, grey, grey November is almost over. And surprisingly there has not really been any snow. But I hereby request snow for Christmas, we all need to feel warm and fuzzy.

Of course one of the best parts of the Christmas season is seeing all the Christmas displays. In Sweden, that means visiting the department store NK {Nordiska Kompaniet}. It is like the Macys/Nordstrom of Sweden.

They don’t do a holiday parade with floats but they have adorable window displays. I took a few photos from the store in Stockholm. You can see different at their stores across the country. Be sure to pop by and dream a little Christmas.

A tribute to stories and fables…

Tribute to Pippi Longstocking

My favorite, the julbock (Christmas goat made out of straw)

Sweden & November – Fifty Shades of Grey

We are midway through November in Sweden; the darkest, dreariest month the year has to offer. And in Sweden, it’s a month of grey, fifty shades of grey.

Yea, I went there. I just couldn’t help it.

But get your mind out of the gutter. I mean fifty shades of grey weather. Not whatever else Christian may be whispering to you. Although, I suppose a Christian would make November in Sweden anything but grey.

I digress. November, Sweden = grey, grey, grey. There’s sleet rain, a dab of fake snow, and darkening days. Except for planning for Christmas, there is absolutely nothing fabulous about this month. There’s no Thanksgiving to even get us through the lumpy weather!

That lead me to think, what on Earth do Swedes do to keep from flying off a glacier from depression?

Light tea-light candles
Light tall candles
Light soy candles
String up lights
Celebrate Thanksgiving!

Seriously, I think Swedes need to celebrate Thanksgiving in November. Sorry Canada. It’s the perfect way to deal with the lull from Kanelbullensdag and Halloween to Lucia.

All you need is a turkey, sås, potatis, and lots more food. Plus football. American football, no kicking the ball European way today. You eat like an American, watch sports like an American, and drink like an American. No! Don’t touch that disgusting Miller or Bud. Go for Sierra Nevada, Anchor Steam, or Brooklyn Brewery, the latter is the lightest and is the best option for a gluttonous day.

After, spend three days recovering from delicious food. See, that makes November fly so much faster!

And talk to Christian…

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it… Make it Snow Darn-it!!!

As you all are aware of, I am a kooky person. I LOVE the snow. Love it, love it, love it! That’s not to say I don’t love sunny days, and flowers blooming but watching the snowfall is something special.

Snowfall is magical.

Yet, this winter, sucks. No rain, no snow, no Weather! Stockholm feels as if the Weather went on strike and decided the best thing to have was charcoal gray as the standard color.

Today I was yet again let down by Weather. It started snowing. Giant, white, fluffy flakes of snow! Here’s my proof it happened:
stockholm fake winter 2012

And then, it was gone…

Just like on December 17th and the 20th (I know because that was a birthday wish), the snow came and disappeared. Ephemeral; dismal.

Now, it is time to pray to Þórr to strike Mjölnir hard and make it snow.

The Last Day of November 2011

It’s amazing that there are only 32 days left until 2012. For better and worse, the year flew by.

The end of November means the end of the seemingly darkest month of the year; the most depressing time (post summer, pre-holidays), and plain dullness. Last few years people complained it snowed and snowed and there was no sunlight.

This November was drab. It was depressing; no snow, no rain, no real sunshine. November 2011 became the purgatory of months: relegated to nothingness but required into order to pass into the next season.

It’s a cold winter waiting. I wish I could look out the window and watch the twinkles of snowfall and the sparkles in the sky.

According to SMHI, Sweden is facing a warm, mild winter. With the onset of snow and sub-zero temperatures expected late in the year, the wildlife is still alive; the flowers, the mushrooms, and the birds. It is fun though to see flowers blooming in November, in Stockholm.

But I still hope it snows in time for my birthday and Christmas. This year, I’m not asking for much, just snow.

Goodbye a Long December…

Know the song? “A long December and there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last / And its one more day up in the canyons and its one more night in Hollywood /
If you think you might come to California…I think you should”

I love December, it’s long, dark, cold and yet it is the most enchanting month of the year. The Christmas lights, first snowfalls, sand on the streets, hot chocolate, warm duvets, and the increasingly short days makes me love the month more than any other. Maybe because I was born near to the Winter Solstice I am the winter child in all its glory and despair.

And tomorrow we say goodbye to December and 2007. What a beautiful month it has been. Here’s to seeing a lovely December close and a great 2008 arrive for everyone.

What we do in Sweden during the winter

The very kind gentleman I was staying with explained what the Swedes do doing the winter. I thought, that I and everyone else on Earth already knew of Swedish winter pastimes. Dead wrong we were.

What do the Swedes “do” in the winter season to pass time? Invent things. Yes, build stuff. What do they build? Who knows… an upgraded cheese slicer? spiffier bikes?

As he explained some of the little widgets and such he and his friends built to pass time, I couldn’t help but smile. Seriously, smile. He was explaining everything in a cute, innocent manner though all I could think of, “You build things? Sure you are not hiding the truth? You sure that not after building something, you get tanked at the bar and…?”

Or maybe, “building things” is an analogy to what the rest of us believe the Swedes do during the winter.

Maybe I should stay there during the winter and see what these Swedes are really up to…