Holiday lights at Skansen.
Swedish knäckebröd or crisp bread and jam.
I have a confession to make: I am a Christmas geek. I love the holiday markets, the lights, decorations, parties, and just the general buzz around town. Hanging my Christmas stars in the windows and pulling out my favorite old decorations just adds to all the happiness.
In my 10 years in Stockholm, I have developed my own traditions, the things I have to do or it just doesn’t seem like Christmas. Some of my favorite things to do include going to the Christmas markets or julmarknads. And of the julmarknads, one of the very biggest is at Skansen. This open-air museum from 1891 features historical Sweden in a nutshell. There are historical homes and buildings with workshops for silver smiths, book binders and bakers. Craftsmen dressed in period clothes demonstrate the old ways of working and show off their handicrafts.
At Christmas, Skansen has all kinds of old-fashioned holiday traditions. At the julmarknad, there are booths with Christmas treats of all sorts, from chocolates and saffransbullar (saffron buns), reindeer sandwiches and glögg (mulled wine) to cheeses and herring and bread. There’s a lot of food to choose from and there are also booths with sheepskins and slippers, hand-blown glass ornaments, woolen scarves, homies, jams and much more.
Then there are Christmas carolers, horsedrawn carriages, and the Swedish favorite: dancing around the Christmas tree. It’s enough to keep even a hard-core Christmas geek like me entertained on a gray and rainy Sunday.
Christmas bullar–sweet rolls.
Serving up fried elk sandwiches.
Dancing around the Christmas tree.
Getting warm by the fire.
The puss plats or kissing place, complete with mistletoe!