Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Saturday, December 9, 2017

Swedish Christmas Day

Mother’s parents emigrated from Sweden in the early part of the 20th century.
These are the Swedish/Canadian Christmas customs passed on to their family . . .
From my uncles’ journals . . .



Grandma, grands and aunties.

Grandma and the grands.
Uncle Roy: After unwrapping our presents, we stayed up late with our new toys or board games (Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders, Chinese Checkers) and snacked on nuts (Brazil nuts, hazel, nuts, walnuts and peanuts), Japanese oranges, chocolates and Mama’s delicious cookies. Late to bed, tired and happy, there was no desire to rise early on Christmas morning. Perhaps the Scandinavian Christmas Eve tradition had its origin from the desire of parents to sleep a little later on Christmas morning!
Uncle Don: One Christmas, we received a Monopoly game. We began to play without reading the rules beforehand.
When we lit on an opponent’s property and couldn’t pay the rent, we would offer one of our properties for sale which would be enthusiastically bid on by the other players in the game.
By the rules we should have mortgaged our property to the bank at half its value.
Anyway, as I recall, no one was able to gain an upper hand so the game went on until 4 am when we were too tired to play.
Everyone went to bed with the game still unfinished and all participants still in!
Uncle Leif: However, there were chores to be done so we couldn’t sleep in for too long. Mother was always up bright and early, preparing Christmas Day breakfast, including lots of cold fish (herring and anchovies), hard boiled eggs and, of course, cinnamon buns. Mother had filleted and pickled the herring a few weeks prior to Christmas. Anchovies were small fish (4 inches long), pickled whole. Probably to shock visitors, some of the boys ate the head and all!
The hosting of Christmas and New Year’s Day dinners (served mid-afternoon) rotated among the Berg families of Pete and Ellen [my parents], Sigvard and Erna [My uncle and his wife] and Henrik and Anna [Another uncle and his wife]. It was a joyous time spent visiting, playing card games, checkers, etc.
The only time liquor was served in the home was if guests were present, as on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Adults would take their whiskey straight from a shot glass, prior to the main meal.
Uncle Roy: Two enormous meals were served, one at noon and another at about 7 pm. Featured were roast turkey or goose with dressing, vegetables, mashed potatoes, gravy and all the trimmings, finished off with mince pie, fruitcake and cookies.
I remember being stuffed so full that I could hardly move, but I couldn’t compete with Bern and Leonard Rasmussen [a family friend] who were the easy winners of the big eaters’ contest.
Fortunately, between dinner and supper, we had a few outdoor chores (milking cows and feeding animals) which relieved some of the pressure on our stomachs before returning for more food (GROAN! GROAN!)

Pickled Herring (Grandma Berg’s recipe)
Jar of pickled herring fillets without the cucumber pickles [They can be purchased at your local grocery store]
Cut the herring into bite-sized pieces and place a layer in a glass bowl.
Cover with thinly-sliced red onions.
Follow with alternate layers of herring and red onions until the herring have all been used.
Brine: ½ cup water
½ cup vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 Teaspoon mixed spices
Boil brine for 5 minutes. Allow to cool. Strain to remove spices.
Pour over herring and onion layers.
Let marinate for several days before eating. Note—do not sample early!



This is the BIG ONE!
And I need your help . . .
Daughter of Ishmael is up for the big award: Book of the year!
I need your vote!
It's simple and REALLY effective.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
http://whitneyawards.com/nominate/



6 comments:

  1. Love it! Especially the idea of opening presents Christmas eve! I am so impatient...ask my parents!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The over-eating continues to this day. With less chores to shift some of it...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think I could only go for opening gifts Christmas Eve if I was guaranteed the same procedure on Christmas morning lol.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What great memories! And good luck on the book contest!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love these memories! Playing Monopoly with self-made rules until 4 a.m. and then getting up to do chores made me wince, though :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'am glad to read the whole content of this blog and am very excited.Thank you.

    หีฟิต

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

Hosts: Your Room's Ready

Hosts: Your Room's Ready
My newest novel! A fun romp through the world's most haunted hotel!

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael
A House Divided is now available at all fine bookstores and on Amazon.com and .ca!

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at Amazon.com and .ca and Chapters.ca and other fine bookstores.

Follow by Email

Hugs, Delivered.

Compass Book Ratings

Compass Book Ratings

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

Google+ Followers

Networked Blogs

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series

SnowMan

SnowMan
A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.

Translate

My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

My photo

Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven

Essence

Essence
A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.

Melissa

Melissa
Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.

Devon

Devon
Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!


Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?