As Swedes we always celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and here is a picture-filled post from Christmas Eve...
Christmas Eve started early for some of us - my Dad and I were up early and he had a pre-breakfast of a ham sandwich, while the others slept.
When breakfast was ready, we woke the others and it was time to have Christmas Porridge - a Swedish Christmas tradition. It's rice porridge served with cinnamon and sugar and milk if one wants. And also in my family my Mom always hides an almond in the porridge, so that the one who gets it, gets to make a wish... But in older tradition it's actually the one who gets the almond get married in the upcoming year...
Breakfast was long and warm - we sat and talked on the balcony and just enjoyed each others company... In previous years, we've always felt somewhat stressed about Christmas, but this year we decided that it should be relaxed...And how can you not be in a place like this...
After breakfast Andy, Tim and I went down to the beach for some sun. It was a really hot day and it was awesome just to lay there in the warm sun, reading a book and just relaxing.
After about an hour of sun, we were visited by a group of 5-6 dophins. They played and hunted in the waters outside the apartment. Andy went upstairs to take some pictures from the apartment while I stayed on the beach.
After swiming and sun tanning, a quick shower and so on - it was time for a coffee with some Christmas cakes and cookies. My Dad made a Irish Coffee and I had a Karlssons Coffee, which is coffee, warm milk, Baileys and whipped cream. Very good!
After relaxing some more, it was time to start making Christmas dinner - a Swedish Christmas inspired Smorgåsbord. Alot of the food is pre-prepaired but we still had to make the last minute food as well as plate. So a couple of hours of work and then dinner was served around 5 p.m.
At 3 p.m. in Sweden, there is a Christmas special on TV, that pretty much everyone watches. It's basically the same show each year, a set of Walt Disney cartoons, From All of Us to All of You, aired on December 19, 1958 with Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, Mickey Mouse, Goofey and Pluto and so on. And each year, there is an addition of this years Disney movie - only about 5-10 minutes from the movie but usually people love it... Therefore you eat usually before "Kalle" (Donald Duck) or after "Kalle". It's I guess a tradition, since we don't get Kalle in Dubai, but we still eat before Kalle =)
The layed table...
Following is the different foods on the Smorgåsbord.
The Christmas Ham - it's cooked and then "broiled" in the oven with a coating of mustard, eggs and bread crumbs.
Homemade herring in a brine with red onions, leeks, carrots, all spice, peppercorns and salt.
Prinskorv is Swedish for the Prices sausage - basically a smaller sausage than usual, about 5 cm in length.
Smoked duck breast slices given to us by Ove and Lillis - brought down from Sweden.
Christmas cheese - a must on each Christmas table.
Swedish knäckebröd or hardbread and Christmas spiced softbread used both as for sandwiches and for dopp-i-grytan, basically dipping in the brine of the Ham.
Homemade beet root salad - with red beets, apple, sour cream, salt and pepper.
Moms famous meatballs. These go fast I tell you!
Turkey prince sausages.
Moms Finish herring mix - with herring, red onion, sour cream, eggs and dill. One of my favorites.
Red onion marmelade.
Eggs with Swedish caviar and dill.
Store bought, IKEA mustard herring.
The Turkey Ham - cooked the same as the other ham.
And as always there is "the little wet one" on the table. This perticualar one is my Dads favorite, O.P. Anderson - it's basically spiced vodka. Drunk freezer cold.
My Dads favorite, Jansons Frestelse or Janssons Temptation, which is a gratain of potatoes, sprat, onion and cream.
Mom's Chantarell omelett.
With the amount of food on the table do I have to tell you how we ate, and ate, and ate, and ate? It was insane, and we still had lots of food left... =)
After dinner we cleaned up and made coffee and sat down to relax some before opening the large amount of presents. We had this year decided to only have a few presents, but as always, the present pile seemed to grow larger than last years and the year before...
We always have one person acting as Santa and that person gives out the gifts, one at a time, usually that person picks 5 gifts, one for each person and then we open one each and then we start over again. So that everyone sees what is given. This year little brother was Santa...
Moms new mobile charm for her new iPhone =) Mom loves camels. =)
I had an insane amount of presents.
From Mom and Dad:
A really nice handbag.
Candy canes in different flavors. I love Candy Canes.
A painting (for both Andy and I).
A Monopoly travel game.
A tiny hairbrush, shower cap, scrub glove, a scrub peach.
Digital photography book.
A optical and wireless mouse.
Silver cutlery (that I've been collecting since I was younger.
From Little brother:
A Alice in Wonderland book - that is truely adorable!
A Dubai notebook.
THANK YOU for ALL the PRESENTS!
Now it's time for all of us to relax, enjoy our presents, eat goodies and play games all night long. Andy and Little brother have already started playing with their toys, Mom and Dad decided to buy some joke-toys this year, so the boys got remote controlled cars. I think Andy's Perudo game is first out to be tried.
God Jul & Merry Christmas!
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