What a wonderful Christmas Eve!
Normally I spend it in NYC at my parent’s house with 40+ relatives. Since my parents decided to do their party on a weekend, this left me free to go to Sweden.
I touched down at 13:15 on the 24th, and blew through customs. It was literally 2 minutes, thanks to my flight being the only one in the airport and being seated at the front of the plane. The customs agent asked me when I was leaving. I said the first. He said I should stay longer and I am going to be hungover. Then he let me pass….never even asked if I had anything to declare.
Once I grabbed my bag, I met my friend, who was parked literally outside the airport. This would never happen at JFK.
I was sad that the time was 14:15. I meant I was going to miss Donald Duck cartoons, something I read and was told about as being a Swedish Christmas tradition. (It is also a Swedish tradition to celebrate on the 24th instead of the 25th like in the US.) The moaning passenger next to me didn’t understand my humor when I sighed and said “I’m going to miss the Christmas cartoons.”
Christmas was so much fun! First, my friend’s mom is an amazing cook. After a long flight, I was hungry but fear not- the Christmas Smorgasbord was ready. Less than 5 hours in the country, and I had the chance to experience tons of Swedish food. .
My favorite Swedish custom? The drinking songs….one is so catchy that I would find myself humming it when I woke up.
The present opening process was quite entertaining. Every present (they are all small gifts, but many) have a riddle or rhyme attached. We take turns handing out the presents and reading the tags. Then, we each open our presents one at a time taking turns in a circle. It takes a while, but it is something that I will definitely do when I have a family.
My friend’s birthday is 23:58. Somehow I managed to stay up until midnight, at which time I slept until 11:00- only one wake up at 3:00 for a small snack.