A Swedish Christmas!

In Sweden, Christmas is celebrated in the afternoon and evening of the 24th of December. In the morning, many do the last Christmas preparations, then at 3pm the whole of Sweden sits down to watch Donald Duck on TV.

Donald Duck and his friends wishing you a Merry Christmas is an American TV-show that was first broadcasted on American TV in 1958 as an episode of the TV series “The Wonderful World of Disney”.

In Sweden, it has been shown on TV at 3pm on Christams Eve since 1960. The program ends with Benjamin Syrsa singing “When You Wish Upon A Star” (in Swedish of course).

Then often there is a knock on the door and Santa arrives to deliver presents to the children (and adults) who have been good over the year past. Read more about the Swedish Santa on our previous blog on the subject:


After presents have been opened, it’s time to eat the Julbord, special type of Swedish smörgåsbord, which is the standard Christmas dinner in Sweden! Julbord is a word consisting of the elements jul, meaning Christmas and bord, table.

The classic Swedish julbord is filled with small dishes and you pick and choose your favourites – a traditional smörgåsbord starting with the cold food such as smoked salmon, pickeld herring, eel etc.and of course the Christmas ham! It’s a ham that has been cured and sometimes smoked and then cooked in the oven. It’s traditional in the Nordic countries to coat it with a layer of mustard mixed with eggs and breaded with breadcrumbs.

After the cold food, you move on to the warm food – small meatballs, pork ribs, sausages, potato, Janssons frestelse, boiled potatoes.

Both the cold and warm food are served together with soft and crisp bread, butter and different cheeses and beverages.

One beverage that needs to be mentioned is Julmust. Julmust is a soft drink that is mainly consumed in Sweden around Christmas. The rest of the year it is difficult to find. It was created to give a non- lcoholic alternative to beer. Must is made of carbonated water, sugar, hop extract, malt extract and spices. The hops and malt extract give the must a quality a little like root beer, but much sweeter. The Julmust outsells Coca Cola every year in Sweden as the main non-alcoholic drink.

There is also often dessert and candy as part of the Julbord. One dessert that is often chosen as a small late evening snack is Julgröt, Christmas Porridge! It’s nicer than it sounds!

One nice tradition is to put some gröt out for the house tomte (gnome, please see link about the Swedish Santa above). When I was small we always put some Christmas porridge out in the evening and in the morning we used to find an empty bowl and a small thank you note!

Merry Christmas everyone!