“I come from a family with traditions. We used to always celebrate at home with my parents and grandparents when I was a child. We had a great Christmas lunch with all the classical dishes: different types of pickled herring, prinskorv, Janssons frestelse, ham, cheese, meatballs, omelettes, and so on.
says Ann Ljungberg, Store Owner, Just Scandinavian.
"Everything was made from scratch by my mother, my aunt, and me. My father made the gingerbread house and fixed the Christmas tree. My brothers helped out with all the buying and the carrying of all the food and drink, my uncle only showed up when everything was done, and he stood for all the kidding around. Then we watched Donald Duck on TV at 3 o’clock, while my uncle took a nap. After Donald Duck it was time for Evensong for my mother and aunt; the rest of us drank the glögg and ate gingersnaps made from an old family recipe. After that it was fruit and marzipan pig and time to open the presents. No present without julklappsrim! At around 10 pm, I, my brothers, and my father and my uncle put on our coats and walked the three kilometer to the Danderyd Church for the midnight mass, where we’d run into classmates and neighbors, so there was always a lot of greeting going on. Then we settled in our heavy coats and sang “Det är en ros utsprungen” at the top of our voices!
This year I will celebrate Christmas here with my mother and Rajesh. My brothers are in Stockholm with their partners and the rest of the family has passed on. The most important thing about Christmas is that is a break in the long, dark winter, and I think the period right before Christmas is the nicest, the preparations. The pickled herring is my favorite!"
Ann Ljungberg’s store is quite a bit of Scandinavia in downtown New York – for more info, see http://www.justscandinavian.com