I’m still here, are You?



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The world will end fanatics were wrong again, who could have guessed that 🙂 🙂 🙂 But for all I know I might be the only one left because I haven’t seen a single person this morning. Deers and voles yes but no humans 🙂 But I’m pretty sure we all still are around.


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The big day during Christmas, or Jul (Yule) as we call it is Yule eve. I don’t know why we celebrate that day since almost the entire rest of the world celebrates the 25th. I guess it has to do with us being Lutheran protestants. It seems one always was forbidden to have fun during a religious celebration in this country. But I really don’t know why they bothered since we Swedes kept so much of our pagan past in our traditions. Christianity never really made us 100% Christians to be honest 🙂

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The pig is actually a big yule symbol here even if it slowly is disappearing now days. But we still can buy marzipan pigs this time of year, the big ones are often accompanied by a small marzipan yule gnome. The pig has always been a very important animal here, poor people couldn’t afford something bigger and a pig can eat almost anything, so they could just let it out into the forest during the day and the pig had as much food as it needed. Come to think about it, lots of our yule food is made from pigs. The pig was also an important figure in our pagan past. There was this boar up in Valhalla (the fallen warriors hall, where warriors killed in battle could live after they had died) called Särimner that was slaughtered every day and as long as all! bones were saved it resurrected the next morning again just waiting to be slaughtered again.


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Another important figure here is the Goat. Most people now days know the goat most because they still are popular as big straw figures. But once it was the one handing out presents at yule eve. The yule goat origins from the goats that pulled Thor’s wagon. They pulled him across the sky and he made the lightning and thunder. For some reason these goats stayed as a yule symbol and after a while they became the ones handing out the presents. I’ve heard that the church said it really was the devil that was forced to do good things one day every year.


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The goat soon had to step back to what most of You call Santa Claus. We don’t call him that, we call him the Yule Gnome. The Yule Gnome was a rather small figure in the beginning and he came with a little sled filled with present and the sled was pulled by the goat 🙂 He wasn’t dressed in red in the beginning either if one looks at old Yule cards but he usually wore a red cap. Our Yule Gnome is more or less half Santa and half our old house gnomes but with time he has grown and wears red clothes too. The goat was retired after a while and suddenly the sled was pulled by a horse. Reindeer’s has until recently never pulled the Yule Gnomes sled but Disney has changed that I’m afraid.


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Unlike most other countries the Yule Gnome meets the children in their homes, usually before they show Donald Ducks Christmas (a tv show shown here for 54 years I think it is now, something more than 3 million people watch every Yule eve at 3pm. Not bad since we only are  nine million people in this country). But traditions can vary, some give out the presents after Donald Duck it all depends on when Santa can come and if he’s sober enough 🙂 Unfortunately people tend to give the gnome a schnapps or two before he leaves and if he visits a lot of families he might get rather drunk in the end. Now days it’s rather popular to have his wife coming with the presents, she is also less happy about drinking schnapps while she’s working 🙂


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I’ll continue with more things tomorrow I think.  It’s snowing outside but I can see that the sun is trying to break through the clouds. I’ll give more seeds to the birds and I’ll put out more deer food too, I’ve seen a third doe in my garden even if Doris daughter rather nastily chased her away 🙂


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Have a great day!


16 thoughts on “I’m still here, are You?

  1. Jag skrattade för mig själv när jag läste om tomtemor som inte är så intresserad av att dricka snapsar hela tiden! *fniss* Det stämmer nog!! 🙂
    Jag har ett kul minne från min barndom när vi bodde i en villa med ett par i våningen ovanpå. För att jag inte skulle fatta något så bad mina föräldrar mannen att vara tomte, vilket han glatt gjorde. 🙂
    Han kom ner när vi precis hade ätit julmiddagen med hela tjocka släkten och alla satt samlade. Så delade han ut en hel säck med julklappar. Och fick både spetsad glögg och snaps. Ett par stycken faktiskt, för han var rätt törstig!
    Så frågade min mamma mig – som var ett litet snällt, tyst och försynt barn normalt (vilket gick över med tiden) – om jag gillade den snälla tomten. Nä, svarade jag, det är inte tomten! Det är farbror Sjöberg. Det känner jag på lukten!!
    Alltså hans spritdoft. Snacka om att han skämdes, jag fattade ju inte att jag generat honom men han gick hem direkt! Stackarn!! 😦
    Den nubbesprit vi köpt var den som heter 25% och är svensk. Sen ska vi ha glögg, både alkoholfri och vanlig vinglögg. Sen blir det bara en snaps och öl till sillen och så kanske litet vitt vin till all lax. Har 4 sorter!
    Sen blir det öl och julmust, även om det finns vin om någon vill ha. Så blir det starkt körsbärsvin till osten och efterätten. Har inte gjort någon egen slånbärslikör i år, ska ju helst inte dricka sånt sött. Så det blir en del alkhol men det brukar inte bli mycket precis och det är ju skönt. 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Man har ju hört julhistorier från andra som varit med om rena sjöslag…..:-( 😦 😦



    • Hejsan Susie!

      Ja hittils har jag aldrig stött på en packad tometmor och det ger bra mycket bättre minnen 🙂 🙂 Jag kan inte säga att jag har något liknande barnminne som du har 🙂 🙂 🙂 Men å andra sidan var jag så rädd för tomten att jag helst höll mig borta från honom 🙂

      Jag gillar vare sig nubbe eller vin och dessutom glömde jag att köpa hem någon Guinness 🙂 Men det gör inget, jag skall bara ta det lugnt, titta på Kalle och Karl-Bertil och njuta av maten och lugnet 🙂 Det lilla med slånbär jag fick från min buske skall bli géle i år, kanske att jag blandar den med rönnbären för såpass lite är det. Skall bara tina upp dem så att jag kan få bort kärnorna först.

      Ha en riktigt God Jul du också!

  2. Hi Christer,
    Rocky and I are still here. But all my Christmas shopping got done just in case. 🙂 Now I can relax.

    Years ago I used to get a Christmas peppermint pig that came with a hammer to bash him up so people could eat the bits. I think it is a German tradition. I’m not German but a peppermint pig is good anyway. Pig seems to be a very economical animal and should be celebrated at Christmas.
    The goat was slightly in style here in the recent past. It may have had something to do with Jan Brett illustrations. Suddenly there were illustrated snowy forest scenes with goats in lovely embroidered harnesses pulling carts or walking beside gnomes who were also in lovely embroidered things.

    It’s cold and windy here. The sun is trying hard but I think he will not prevail over the clouds until maybe just before sunset. They are predicting some snow for Christmas morning. We shall see. 🙂
    I have gingerbread cookies and tea waiting for me. Enjoy the day!

    • Hi Caryn!

      It seems that at least most of us still is here then 🙂

      I’ve never even heard of a peppermint pig 🙂 Normally we take all traditions they have in Germany but this one (and the easter bunny) is the few we have missed 🙂

      They have the worlds biggest straw goat in the town Gävle every Christmas and almost every year it get burned down 🙂 🙂 🙂 I have a couple small ones but I just can’t remember where I’ve put them 🙂 I hadn’t heard about Jan Brett but I found her on Google and I like her work.

      I can honestly say that no goat or gnome ever wore anything embroidered here 🙂 🙂 🙂

      We’ll get snow for a few more days here, especially during the Christmas nights.

      Have a great day!

  3. Our lights surged on and off and we lost power. My first thought was, seriously, the world is ending. They were only out and hour which is amazing usually it takes 3 to 10 days to restore power anymore.
    Is that your home. It is so wonderful.
    I hope you enjoy your Christmas movie and that you and your doggies have a peaceful holiday. Hope the Cone head puppy is doing okay. When our Springer had some serious cancer surgery, she wore one. My little granddaughters decorated the cone with duckie stickers. It looked so cute and she was thrilled to have the attention.
    We have snow and slippery roads…….I love the snow. Now on with the fun….hoping the roads clear for that.
    Stay warm.

    • Hi Debby!

      Oh that would have been fun if it had happened here too 🙂 I know a couple of people that believed the end was near 🙂

      My home is in the ninth photograph, it’s the cottage to the right.

      Sune is doing fine and now he’s rid of the pad above the stitches. He didn’t like it at all when I washed it with cold hydrogen peroxide 🙂 🙂 🙂

      I do give any dog with a cone of shame very much attention but unfortunately none of my dogs seems to appreciate that 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Lots of snow and slippery roads here too and since I don’t have to drive around in it I’m fine with it 🙂

      Have a great day!

  4. Christer, I think I am here, unless this is some strange afterlife. And it snowed over 12 inches last night, still snowing today. I feel bad for Joyce, she didn’t get her big snow. I think she lives about 5 hours from me, maybe a bit less. Your story about the pig, the goat, the drunken Jul Gnome and Donald Duck; you don’t hear all those in the same story very often, lol! Enjoy the day!! Love to that family of yours!!

    • Hi Robin!

      Yes we all could be in a strange afterlife very much alike the one we’ve just left 🙂 🙂 🙂

      12 inches! That’s a lot! To bad for Joyce that the most of the snow missed her. She would truly enjoy it!

      That’s a story not to unknown here 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Have a great day!

    • Hi Joyce!

      You are the one I know that truly would enjoy all that snow and then You don’t get especially much!

      No Yule without Donald Duck and his friends over here 🙂 I never miss it!

      Have a great day!

  5. It looks so COLD there! Some of our Christmas traditions are enough to give a little child nightmares..Here Santa has sort of settled down to being a “right Jolly old Elf.”…so…he must be small here too. It’s amazing what we tell our kids and encourage them to believe. Of course they eventually find out we were lying to them all the time..but they are expected to just outgrow the fairy tale and figure it out for themselves. I’ve had to tell a Grandchild or two that “Santa Claus” is just the spirit of Christmas and of giving to others. blah blah blah! So far, being a good story telling Irish Grandma, I’ve gotten by with it. No damage done frome the tall tails they were fed. All in fun.
    Giant Easter Bunny who comes and lays chocolate eggs..well…not sure about that one. Just another Fairy tale kids grow out of.
    I love hearing about your traditions and where they all come from. I think all of us everywhere have hung onto our pagan beliefs from years gone by…at least the fun ones..thank heavens. The witches thing ..well..that’s another thing altogether. LOVE them their witches. Cutes things ever!
    Donald Duck?? Really?? :):) Who would have thought!!

    • Hi Mona!

      I was so relieved when I understood that he wasn’t true 🙂 🙂 :-)I was so afraid of him, not that he wouldn’t give me any presents but he really looked scary 🙂 🙂 🙂 The Easter bunny is something that never caught on here, we have him as chocolate figures but that’s all. We have our witches and they are the biggest Easter symbol for us 🙂

      Yes thankfully we only saved the nice ones, sacrificing humans, animals and gold in to bogs is one I think we’re better off without 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Yes Donald Duck is really important! Over a third of us here in this country watches him every yule at 3 pm 🙂

      Have a great day!

  6. Another round of great pictures! Hooray. It has been cold here, for us, we have a while before things start warming up. Bet you have longer?

    • Hi JD!

      I’m glad You like them 🙂

      I guess spring comes around late Mars here so yes it will take some time 🙂 🙂 🙂
      Nasty cold due to a very hard wind and soon it will start to snow again.

      Have a great day!

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