When you are an expat, you tend to tie your friends a little bit closer to you, than "just" being friends, they become your family.
Traditionally we celebrate our Christmas Eve at the Scotts, with the rest of the "crew"; our friends that are like aunties and uncles to our kids, and their children that have all become like cousins - all the kids have known each other for most (or for the younger ones, all) of their life.
It's of course an extra nice tradition for me, since it's Swedish Julafton celebrations, with Swedish food and Swedish traditions!
We've only missed it once, which was when we were away in Dubai last year over Christmas. This year it was all back to normal though, and we were all very excited to be there.
After quite a bit of glögg (I see it as my duty to finish it off when everybody else gives it up for champagne..!), Anna briefed all her guests on 'protocol'! There are usually new additions to the guest list every year, and since we take our 'Julbord' very seriously, ha ha, everybody needs to know in what order you are supposed to eat the different food!
So much lovely food!
I had brought the beetroot salad, Janssons Frestelse and 7,5kg (!) of Swedish meatballs, definitely non-halal! My own favourites on the 'Julbord' is the herring, the ham and the prinskorv, yum!
This year there was 45 of us, and everybody seemed to enjoy their Swedish culinary experience, most went back several times, and some even dared to try the snaps!
After dinner Santa made an appearance! It was a bit unexpected, so the kids got super excited!
He had help from his elf Amelia, together they distributed gifts to all the children...
... who sat nicely and waited for their turn in the sofas:
Then the opening frenzy started!
Lucas made a new friend:
And Linnea had been allowed to change her earrings for the first time, to the horse ones she had picked out in NZ, just for this occasion:
It was a lovely, lovely Julafton - Thank you again Scott Family!