5. The food. A hundred different kinds of cheese. How much cheese do you need? When people had little to eat – you know, back in the fifties – then eating a lot at once was a rare and special thing. But now we can stuff our faces whenever we feel like it, so why is eating until we topple over so interesting? Everybody should celebrate Christmas with a refreshing walk in the hills, eating dry biscuits and snowmelt. That’s the way to toughen up the kids!
4. The presents. Everybody sits in a circle and painstakingly opens presents, one by one by one, and nods in appreciation as every bloody bees-wax candle and copy of The Da-Vinci Code and Enya CD is revealed. Please, poison me now.
3. The weather – Well the weather, at least, is good. Dark and cold and possibly snowy. Not bad, three points out of five on the weather. Keep it up.
2. The snaps-songs. At dinner everybody drinks small glasses of foul-tasting snaps, along with cute little songs that make everybody feel less guilty about getting pissed. – Oh look, we’re only drinking because we are social and like singing so much. Yeah, right.
1. The bloody cartoon. At 15:00 Sweden comes to a standstill while everybody turns on the TV and watches a Disney Christmas special from the middle ages. The odd thing is – it is ALWAYS THE SAME! Every year, since the dawn of time, the SAME bloody cartoon. And at the end there is a five-minute slot where Disney show ads for upcoming movies – and EVERYBODY WATCHES THIS TOO! The result – one hour of free advertising for Disney to the whole Swedish population. And I wonder how much the TV channel gets paid for this. A million dollars? At the very least. How nice to have a tradition that the TV company can cash in on…