I published my first blog article almost exactly 2 years ago, on December 27 2005. The whole thing was basically a New Year’s Resolution, and an excuse not to study. Luckily I discovered a talent for regular bitching, and here I am 2 years later. I’ve had my ups and my downs, published 280 articles of varying quality and stumbled upon a very fine bunch of people I would never otherwise have known about.
So thanks to all of you, and I’m very pleased to have made your acquaintance. And in honour of the day that’s in it (and in the interests of laziness) I have decided to reprint my first ever article.
Back in the day, this article received a readership of around 5. These days my blog gets 300-400 hits per day, so I seem to be doing something right. Probably the swearing. Or all the penis stuff.
So anyway, here it is – slightly remastered but still true to the spirit of the original (And yes, point number 1 is indeed something I talk about often. Like last week, for example. Oh well, if you can’t steal from yourself, then who CAN you steal from?)
Top 5 things about Christmas in Sweden (remastered)
5. The food. A hundred different kinds of cheese. How much cheese do you possibly need? When people had very 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? If you ask me, everybody should celebrate Christmas with a refreshing walk in the hills, eating dry biscuits and drinking snow melt. That’s the way to toughen up the kids!
4. The presents. Important, this one: everybody sits in a circle and painstakingly opens the gifts, one by one. On no account may a person begin opening until the whole crowd is holding one present each. Then the opening may begin, and everybody is expected to nod in appreciation as every single 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. Very cosy and atmospheric, until you have to step out into it, tipsy from the glögg and chocolate liqueurs. 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, accompanied by cute little songs to 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. However do not mention this to a Swede or you risk having your glögg poured into your underwear and your Enya CD smashed over your head.