• With hope for the future!

    Very soon, the year 2020 will end. In many ways, it has been a terrible year. In Sweden, it turns out that new public management and the just-in-time economy have made us very vulnerable to a plague like the Corona pandemic. Hopefully we will learn something from the ordeal that the Covid-19 virus entails. In any case, we did not want to listen to the warnings and we should have understood better.  With joint efforts, we will pass this torment as well. But the year has not only been miserable. Just before the year started, I fell very much in love even though I had actually given up the opportunity…

  • Santa Claus is coming to town!

    The tradition of sending Christmas cards started in Britain in the 1840s.  The practice of sending Christmas greetings on colored postcards soon spread both to the United States and via Germany and Denmark to Sweden. In Sweden, it became popular to send Christmas cards at the end of the 19th century and the tradition is still very popular. With her very popular Christmas card motifs, the artist Jenny Nyström gave us the image of the Swedish Santa Claus, Christmas presents and a Christmas tree (jultomten, julklappar och julgranen). My sons and I have a tradition of creating our own Christmas card, perhaps a little less traditional or at least with a…

  • Preparations for Jul

    Christmas is called “Jul” in the Nordic languages, or “Jól” in Icelandic. The word comes from the ancient Germanic word “jehwla” which is also linked to the Finnish “joulu”. Jul was celebrated as a holiday in Old Norse religion and the Germanic world long before Christianity. In the Nordic countries, the Christian Christmas was named after the pre-Christian holiday.  In Sweden, the holiday “Lucia” together with Advent marks the beginning of the Christmas celebration. Lucia is celebrated on December 13. Lucia is a saint in the Christian tradition originating in Sicily. The Swedish Lucia is a mixture of both pre-Christian and Christian figures and this tradition has spread to other…