Friday, 14 December 2012

Friday My Town – Holiday Traditions

I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been (inwardly) out of sync with the FMTSO themes. Every Friday seems to spring a surprise theme on me, while I’ve been having something else in mind during the week.

This week, for example, I was convinced it was Rainy Themes coming up, and kept wondering what on earth to do with that, with all this snow on the ground…

Snowberries in rain – November

Oops. Turns out Rainy Theme is next week.
This week it’s supposed to be My Favourite Holiday.

As it would feel very odd for me to suddenly start thinking about any other holiday 1½ week before Christmas, I think I’ll stick with the time of year we’re actually in, i.e. Advent.

This means that the regular followers of my blog may find this post repeating a lot of things they already know. But hey… Isn’t repeating stuff what tradition is all about?!

Kaleidoscope – Advent star made from a rose hip.

Because the month of December is the darkest time of year here, we tend to cram it with traditons and celebrations, all the way from the week before the 1st Advent Sunday, and going on at least through the first week of January.

For some people it’s a time of crazy frenzy, but as I don’t really have all that many obligations, I’m more or less free to pick and choose.


This year I had most of my Christmas cards done by mid November. (Then of course I still managed not to post some of them until after the recommended date, but that’s another story…)


 I got my red/white kitchen curtains and my electric candles and Advent stars up in time for the 1st Advent Sunday (and, as you can see, before the first snow).


I baked Lucia buns with saffron (‘lussekatter’)


The Buddy Bears exhibition opened in the town square on 1 st December, and I’ve been visiting it more than once since then. Not exactly tradition - as we’ve never had any Buddy Bears visiting before - but I guess ‘Santa’ could do with a holiday of his own for once. And it’s not good to get too stuck in traditions… It broadens the mind to be open to some cultural clashes:


The Buddy Bears for Etiopia and the United Arab Emirates

(You can see many more Buddy Bears up close in my Picture Book blog, every day this moth.)


I went to church for 1st Advent Sunday.


Some days it’s been really, really cold. Now there’s a part of tradition you can never control… Sometimes in December “rainy themes” would fit right in; but not this year (so far).


I did not buy a Christmas tree, because I never do.
My personal tradition is to just have a miniature artificial tree, 60 cm high, which will be celebrating its 26th Christmas this year. I’ve not put it up yet – don’t usually do that until the last week before Christmas.


I watched ice sculptures being made in the town square.



See more of the Lucia parade in an earlier post. This one is for Sandra and you other dog-lovers out there.


Lighted trees in the park… Did you know that when you take photos with flashlight in the dark, you can catch ghosts? (“steam” rising from the river, not yet frozen)


3rd Advent Sunday coming up this weekend, and 1½ weeks until Christmas. Time to wrap some presents.


(This collage was made the old-fashioned way.
Christmas stickers on printed photo.)

By the way, in Sweden we open our presents on Christmas Eve. (To add a bit of confusion, that means we get to open them at the same time as people in New Zealand, who open theirs on Christmas morning.)


  1. love the picnic bench and lighted tree, and the reason i love this holiday is shown perfectly in your kitchen shot with the red and white curtains and candles. i love cozy and candles and glowing lights.

  2. Oh my, such a wealth of abundant beauty!!!!! I am just loving this and your camera skills!!!! Here are my very favorites: Your curtains and star scene in your kitchen, the snowberries (we don't have any I think) the big tree outside, the tree with the sun behind it, the foggy lighted trees in the park.

  3. The rosehip caleidoscope picture is a great idea, and the lit-up trees in the park are so lavishly beautiful!
    We, too, open our presents on Christmas Eve in Germany. I always get to open TWO sets of presents, leaving the ones from my Yorkshire family until the morning of the 25th :-)

  4. I had such a chuckle seeing Etiopian and United Arab Emirates bears covered in snow. Poor things! Your kitchen window makes the perfect Christmas scene I think. I think my favourite shot is the lighted trees in the park, their reflections and the ghosts (of Christmasses past perhaps?)

  5. Now that you've met this week's and next week's challenge, you can sit back and relax! Love the water drops on the berries.

  6. A very enjoyable wander through your thoughts and pictures Monica.

  7. I like that snowy tree with the sunlight behind it. :) It is hard to keep up with things...the weeks move so quickly!

  8. A friend in the USlso opens hers on Christmas Eve. I find it fascinbating how traditions vary.
    I love the photo collage - so amusing.
    And I've never seen an ice sculpture but they always look as if they take an enormnous amount of skill.

  9. Love the star and snowy tree! Happy holidays :)

  10. Gorgeous photos, I love especially all your shots of the snow. Being from a tropical country, any shot involving snow, amazed me! Love that view of your church, so beautiful!


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