Ho, ho, ho & humbug: the holiday spirit

December 15, 2012

in Christmas in Stockholm,Living abroad,Living in Sweden,Stockholm

mariatorget tunelbana

The Santa buskers at Stockholm's Mariatorget subway station.

Jingle Bells greeted me as I walked onto the platform of the Mariatorget subway station yesterday morning on the way to work. Dressed in tattered Santa suits, the two street performers were playing a guitar and violin. Since they actually sounded pretty good, I smiled and gave them some coins. (Lately, just about every train I am on has buskers on it, playing everything from Feliz Navidad to Yesterday and looking for a donation.)

As I switched to another train line at Central Station, the woman in front of me barely brushed against a man as she was running to make a train. So the man promptly started running after her and pushed her. Then he proceeded to yell at her.

So much for the holiday spirit.

But at work, Christmas trees line the long corridor as I walk in and the front reception desk has an advent wreath with candles. All the windows have holiday candelabras in them. And the restaurant has julstjärna (literally translated: Christmas stars) or poinsettias on all the tables. It’s very festive.

Later, as I took a body pump class at the gym, the instructor shared pepparkakor or gingerbread cookies with everyone.  After every round of weight lifting, one of the guys would run up to the front of the class and grab another pepparkakor. And as I left, I had one too.

Ah, it’s the holidays in Stockholm.

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