December brought the first significant snowfall, the darkest day, stacks of golden lussebullar (saffron buns), skating rinks, bottles of glögg in supermarkets, blue light in the mornings, popup Christmas tree sellers, amaryllis and wind that blows through to your bones.
Snow was forecast but we weren’t expecting this much. I was so happy!
There are so many lovely cakes, buns and biscuits for sale at this time of year. Many of them pig shaped! We bought a chocolate dipped julgris (marzipan pig) to embrace Christmas the Swedish way. I thought I’d miss mince pies but I haven’t at all (Sweden wins on festive sweet treats compared to the UK).
We had a handful of amazing Winter sunsets. December days are very short, cloudy and dark at 2:30pm, so colourful skies feel extra special.
Unproven science… cold air makes the smell of hotdogs stronger. There are shops and carts all around the city and we often see people huddled around public grills — they unload buns and sauces, cook hotdogs and drink coffee from large flasks.
These Se Upp flags mean “beware” and are flipped down after heavy snowfall or when there is risk of falling ice — usually before the roof sweepers arrive and shovel away the snow and ice. It’s a common sight in areas like Södermalm and Gamla Stan where there are many older buildings with slanted roofs.
Amaryllis are one of my favourite Winter plants, aside from hyacinths. Supermarkets are well stocked with potted amaryllis bulbs at a reasonable price and most florists stock these cut stems. The cut flowers are really beautiful and available in unusual (to me) colours like cream, burgandy and coral pink.
Seeing someone transport their Christmas tree by bike, on a boat, was definitely a first.
And that’s all for December!