One hundred and twentyseventh åsic- The Grinch vs Tomten

how-the-grinch-stole-christmas-post1.jpg (847×1196)

Many years ago, a friend from Canada visited us and we started to talk about different traditions that we couldn’t live without. The Canadian friend mentioned that The Grinch would be such a tradition for him. In October when I visited a school in NJ, I noticed that many of the kids wanted to learn more about Swedish Christmas traditions and what TV-shows we most typically would watch on Christmas Day. First of all, I needed to tell them that Christmas Day isn’t really the big thing here, although we all know about Jesus… Instead most of us do most of our celebration on Christmas Eve and regarding TV-shows I told the American kids about our tradition of watching a Walt Disney show with Donald Duck and his friends. Some of the kids I met in NJ asked how come, but that’s a long story.

More fun was to notice that they all were astonished when I said kids in Sweden actually MEET Santa (called Tomten in Swedish). He doesn’t just drop things through the chimney or come during the night to put gifts under the Christmas tree. Instead he comes knocking the door, asking whether all the kids were kind or not… Every kid yells YESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!! and Tomten comes in to give his gifts from a large sack. But what if he doesn’t come? the American kids wanted to know… He does, I said. I then said that since he comes on Christmas Eve in our homes and he is offered plenty of rice porridge and saffron buns, he will for sure be a lot bigger when he arrives in Americe, because Tomten isn’t at all a fat and tall man, saying Ho ho ho! He wears clothes that is more close to the outfit the Grinch has in the above picture… The idea is for the people in the house, to be kind in general and also to be good to each other. Then Tomten will be kind, too, but if any child is naughty, Tomten will for sure not at all be kind! So, beware of Tomten… Apart from the Disney show we can also watch a more traditional show, more solemn and quiet with a whole lot of wintery feeling. Viktor Rydberg wrote a long poem, called Tomten. A famous Swedish writer, Torgny Lindgren reads with great passion and the lovely paintings are made by Harald Wiberg. Suppose you have never heard Swedish before… Then take this advantage and listen to a poem that is like a fairy tale…

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