On December 7, SACC San Francisco/Silicon Valley threw open the doors of the Ritz Carlton Hotel and Scandinavian Americans gathered from across the area to celebrate an afternoon of traditional food, music and company at the annual Christmas luncheon.

Christmas is both a religious holiday and a cultural phenomenon which people around the world have been observing for over two millennia. Every year, the Swedish-American Chamber of San Francisco holds a luncheon to maintain and cherish traditions important to our Swedish heritage.

This year’s event was a wonderful success. A live band and great food entertained the crowd for a couple hours on a sunny Friday. Laughter, extraordinary prizes and traditions filled the festive room, and the afternoon lengthened into a late evening which ended with one or too many drinks in true Swedish Christmas spirit.

The luncheon included several traditional dishes, such as meatballs, pickled hearing, ham and salmon—items both crucial and typical during the Christmas season in Sweden. Even the traditional mulled wine (glögg) made an appearance with gingerbread cookies.
The Lucia Pageant, another vital factor in recreating the Swedish holiday, was a tremendous success, with a full house and great vocals to fill the room.

One of the most anticipated moments of the event are the raffles and silent auction, where the two roundtrips from the U.S. to Sweden provided by Scandia Travel Unlimited are raffled with other amazing prizes, like hotel nights at the Hilton, Hotel Vital, Scandic Grand Central or spa treatments at Mandarin Oriental or Kabuki Spa.

Every year, more than a dozen prizes provided by generous donors make the luncheon extra special. The Chamber is particularly grateful to MOC insurance for their generous donation that made this year’s luncheon the most memorable in a long time.

If Swedish traditions, amazing prizes and great entertainment appeal to you, make sure to sign up for next year’s Christmas luncheon in San Francisco. Laughter and great traditional food are guaranteed.

by Claudia Riber

Photography: Andrew Molyneux