”I prefer Swedish julbord, but Kalle Anka is rubbish”

Paul Connolly's twins, born in Sweden, enjoy nearly every part of a Swedish Christmas. Except for one thing.

The girls, before they had hurtful opinions about English Christmases.

The girls, before they had hurtful opinions about English Christmases.

Foto: Donna Richmond

Engelska2023-12-18 09:00
Det här är en krönika. Åsikterna i texten är skribentens egna.

You know your kids are totally Swedified when they prefer the Swedish Christmas to the English variety. 

For example, one of our twin daughters hates the traditional English Christmas roast dinner, which usually comprises roast turkey, stuffing, gravy, pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon), bread sauce, roast potatoes and vegetables (particularly Brussels sprouts).

Cat doesn’t like the roasted parts of this magnificent feast:

– It’s just burnt food, daddy, she says, not realising how deeply her words hurt me. I bloody love roast dinners.

– I much prefer the Swedish julbord, she continues:

– It’s so much tastier and there’s just more of it, she says.

– And none of it is burnt, she says with a reproachful look which essentially says, "And that's your fault."

But then she loves the julbord’s boiled egg halves with those unidentifiable, possibly toxic, blobs of stuff on top, so I’m not sure her opinion can be taken that seriously.

Our other twin, Leila, also prefers the julbord, but is less emphatic about it. 

– I like the julbord best. I love all the salmon dishes, the prins korv and the meatballs, she says, before noticing the disappointment written in capital letters across my face:

– But I love the pigs in blankets and, er, the other stuff of the English dinner, she says totally unconvincingly. She’s a sweet, kind child who always wants to keep everyone happy.

Cat, however, is happy to share her opinions on other elements of a Swedish Christmas very loud and very clear. She takes no prisoners, so look away now if you’re a Swede of sensitive disposition.

– I like the Swedish food, but Kalle Anka is rubbish, she says, possibly ensuring her deportation from Sweden in early January.

– It’s the same thing every year, and they’re not even very good cartoons, she says. 

At this point, I should probably plead for mercy from the official at Migrationsverket who right now is almost certainly circling my daughter’s name in red and writing next to it, “Detta barn måste lämna omedelbart.” (“This child must leave immediately”).

And I should probably not admit that Leila is of a similar opinion. To lose one twin might be seen as bad luck, but to lose two would look like carelessness.

The tipping point in favour of Swedish over English Christmas is the Tomte tradition, in which one of our lovely village neighbours, dressed up as Tomte and with a mask, scares the living bejesus out of the girls by suddenly, and repeatedly, popping up at our kitchen or living room windows when it’s dark outside. 

The girls absolutely love it, and adore the neighbour who performs so terrifyingly. 

At least I think it’s one of our neighbours.

This is a column and the views are the author's (or his daughters') own. 

This column was originally published at norran.se/english, the English part of norran.se.