For our Swedish cultural celebration, we had the same Smorgasboard menu of sandwiches, lingonberry jam, pickled veggies, and cookies. I also made non alcoholic julglögg, with sour cherry juice instead of the blackcurrant, and no walnuts. There was also risengrod, a sweet rice pudding with various toppings, brought by the fabulous Lori.
For the craft activity, I had precut pieces (recycled from wrapping paper) to make heart baskets. It was much too tricky for the 6 and under set, but the adults had fun with it.
After everyone had a chance to eat, we got ready for our Lucia parade. All the kids were offered tinsel crowns, and real candles (only kids over 3 got lit candles).
Jenna was our oldest girl, so she was the Lucia. She carried a plate of cookies (I carried the cocoa) down the stairs to my Mom, while we listened to the Santa Lucia song on my phone. Mom ooohed and aaahed over the candles and treats and then we blew out the candles before the kids all went off exploring the dim room with them.
Then it was time for dancing around the tree! Walker had helped me move the tree into the middle of the room, where we conveniently have an outlet in the floor, so the lights could still be on. He also created a playlist of 4 songs for us to dance to. Circle dances are very popular in Sweden it seems, and they are very fun and easy. There was one particular dance that Moira loved from the Santa Lucia Fest earlier in the month, so I picked a random song to do that with. Two of the songs I actually remembered the movements to, and the other one I made up.
Små grodorna (Small Frog), I just told everyone to hop like a frog, and then snuffle like a pig, but the version we had really only had the frog verse. There are very long ones where you are a long series of animals.
Tre pepparkaksgubbar, is about dancing gingerbread cookies. We went in and out around the tree, as much as possible with the set of kids who were just running in circles.
Räven raskar över isen, I have no idea what this is about. For this one we went around in a circle together, and then spun in pairs.
Nu har vi ljus här i vårt hus, I also have no idea what this one is about. The dance Moira really liked was one where people stand in pairs and make a bridge with their hands, then the last pair starts running through the tunnel, and then forms a bridge at the other end. Everyone does this in turn and you end up slowly circling the tree like a snake. We couldn't do that with the number of people we had, not to mention the average height, so instead the adults formed bridges and all the kids ran underneath.
Once we had done the dances once, I left the play list running on repeat so the kids could do whatever they wanted to the music for awhile. A good time was had by all, except possibly, for the adults who chose to sit in the living room and listen to those four songs on repeat for an hour.
Part one of our Swedish adventure is here.
All of these photos were taken by Sam and Lauren of Hobo Mama enterprises, and are used with permission.