Merry Christmas everybody! Sarah here.
God loves us, good people, even if this is not Christmas the way we like to have it.
I miss my friends and caroling at SPARK, and we had to skip the Candlelight Walk in Granville. At least Jordan and I got to go see Wildlights at the zoo. That was fun. And we’re going to go to the light show out at National Trails sometime before Christmas Day.
In spite of all the things we’re missing, lots of things will still be the same. I’d like to tell you about the Swedish Christmas traditions at our house.
On Christmas Eve, every one of my aunts and uncles and cousins comes over to our house. The big table is set up, usually for more than twenty people. There are Christmas plates and fancy glasses and candles and evergreens. Tucked in among them are lots of little Swedish decorations—tomtens and reindeer and Santas and some of them are even salt and pepper shakers. And there are candles, lots of candles. Sometimes it’s my job to help light all of them before dinner.
Everyone brings food. First we go to the cold table. There are lots of kinds of cheese, and a tomato aspic that looks like a salmon with cottage cheese in the middle. There’s pickled herring and creamed herring (not my favorite!) Aunt Kris brings a big plate of cut up vegetables and another with olives and lots of kinds of pickles. (Jordan loves black olives! If you want some you’d better get in line ahead of him.) We sit around and talk for a while and drink hot cider while we eat the food from the cold table.
Then it’s time for the hot table. My dad makes potatiskorv, Swedish potato sausage. Aunt Mandy makes the best mashed potatoes ever. Papa brings salmon, and Uncle Jeff bakes Gogo bread. It’s named after my grandmother, Gogo, who was the best bread maker. Aunt Gretchen brings beets. (Sorry Gretchen, none for me!) Then there are Uncle Don’s Swedish meatballs and a big bowl of broccoli! Swedish smörgåsbord is great at our house! Everyone fills their plates, and it takes a while to figure out where they’re supposed to sit.
Once we’re at the table, someone reads the Christmas story from the Bible. Sometimes we have guests and we ask one of them to read it. Sometimes it’s me. I love to read that story.
Then we eat. Usually we eat too much and have to try hard to stay awake when we go to church afterwards. When church is over we come back to my grandparents for dessert. I’ll tell you another time about all the different kinds of Swedish cookies.
Christmas won’t be the same this year, but we’ll still find a way to have fun. And we’ll still have the Christmas story. I hope your Christmas is happy, and I really hope Santa doesn’t get the virus. Until next time, be safe, wear a mask, and wash your hands.
Sarah Burkett writes from Granville and will be featured on the LCBDD website once a month. If you would like to send her a message or suggestion for a future column, please email email@example.com and it will be forwarded along to her.