Travel: God Jul! Taste of a Swedish Christmas

God Jul/Merry Christmas! Here are a couple of highlights from our Christmas celebration in Sweden.

Swedish star light
The signature Swedish Christmas star. At least in my eyes, it is the signature Swedish Christmas star. These hang in the windows of many Swedish homes adding a warm glow to long days of winter darkness.
Swedish kaviar
One of my husband's favorite Swedish food—Kalles kaviar (fish roe in a tube).
Swedish Christmas Goat
Julbock, Christmas goat, a traditional Swedish Christmas decoration. We were given our very own this year. Ours is the little one on the right. Each year in Gävle (a town north of Stockholm), hooligans try to burn the town's forty-two foot tall Julbock. There is currently a webcam on the town's Julbock to keep an eye on the action.
fruit bowl
Swedish smorgasbord
A traditional Christmas Eve Swedish smörgåsbord. There is a variety of pickled herring in the jars to the left on the counter. My favorite item is gravlax (cured salmon with salt and sugar topped with a mustard, dill and sugar sauce) on hard bread. This year they found bread shaped like elk.
tiny Swedish totems on a rock
Tomten—deeply rooted in Swedish folklore as the protector of farmers and their children from misfortune, has evolved into the Swedish Christmas mascot. Modern day tomten is a hybrid of the traditional Swedish gnomes and Santa Claus.
Swedish plants and tiny tomtems
Tomtarna—they are everywhere.

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