Monday, January 03, 2011

Merry Swedmas!

by Carl Mattias

Two week flashed by and suddenly I found myself in America once again! As I mentioned before I spent my Christmas "home" in Sweden. It felt great to be back and see my family and almost all of my friends (it was indeed two intense weeks!). I even had the pleasure of participating at a Christian New Years Camp for Youths, both in the prayer team and as a last minute stand in as a leader of a workshop about how to interpret the bible! During my time at Luther Seminary so far all I've done is to receive, this time around I got the opportunity to share from what I have received!
A fitting way to end the year in my opinion!

With this behind me I was happy to return to the US once again and after an uneventful flight I started my J-term and begun with what might be the best class I've ever had. If you get and opportunity to take the class "Genesis to Revelation" with Professor Koester, do so (if not, take and opportunity to do so, you won't regret it!).

As promised I will now write a little about how we celebrate Christmas in Sweden!

First of all we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve (December 24). And for most Swedes there is a certain order in which things must be done:

In the morning around 8-9 o'clock (much earlier if you have small children) you eat breakfast.

At noon you eat a Christmas lunch, consisting of, but not limited to, Swedish Christmas porridge, Christmas bread with Christmas ham and Christmas cheese (yep, in a Swedish Christmas we have a lot of things with the "Christmas-" prefix).

At 3 pm all of Sweden is gathered in front of the television to watch "Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul" a TV program that has been an absolute must see during Christmas in Sweden since it first aired in 1960.

Afterwards at 4:01 pm all children who have been nice know what to expect: Presents!

Nice seminary students and nice dogs might get some as well!

After the most important event of Christmas it is time for the second most important event, namely the Swedish Christmas-table!

At 11 pm (after the stuffing ourselves and playing with our new presents) it is time for one of those rare occasions each year when Swedes actually go to Church, the Christmas Mass. When thousands of Swedes go to Church in order to hear about why we really celebrate Christmas and to receive Holy Communion.

That's it for me this time I hope you all had a merry Christmas and I wish you a happy new year!


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