Celebrating Christmas in a foreign country is tough, right? You miss your family. You have no idea what’s going on. To top it off, Swedes can’t even figure out what day they’re supposed to celebrate on. The whole thing is cockamamie.
Fortunately, even though this is my first Christmas in Sweden, I’ve had some practice with Sweden’s other holidays, namely Springtime Christmas (Easter), Summertime Christmas (Midsummer), and Patriotic Christmas (National Day).
These holidays have been wonderfully rich experiences, yielding both memories that I’ll treasure forever and valuable coping strategies for situations in which the rules of play are unknown and running away is not an option.
Coping strategy number one: Focus on the food.
Coping strategy number two: Do not be afraid of the wine.
Coping strategy number three: Study the relevant holiday vocabulary in advance.
Seriously. It doesn’t matter how lovely and wonderful your significant other is or how unafraid you are of asking for explanations, by the time you interrupt a conversation mid-flow for the tenth time to ask what a word means, you will feel like an idiot and want to slink off to a corner to hide for the rest of the day.
Either that, or you and I do not react to this kind of stress in the same way, in which case, you probably do not these coping strategies in the first place.
In any case, how you handle the day once it’s upon you is out of my hands. What I can help you with, though, are the words. Read more » >>