Ebenezer Scrooge: ‘Why I hate Swedish Christmas’

Can you feel it? That crisp but comforting chill in the air that signals Christmas is coming! As advent stars twinkle in windows, the glögg flows freely, and the smell of saffron drifts through the streets, everyone in Sweden is full of festive spirit.

Ebenezer Scrooge: 'Why I hate Swedish Christmas'
Mr. Scrooge performing in 'A Christmas Carol'

Well, perhaps not everyone.

The Local caught up with miserly moneylender Ebenezer Scrooge, who’s here in Stockholm performing in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol until 23rd December.

He kindly (but not ungrudgingly) took some time out from rehearsing to give us his two pennies’ worth about Christmas here in Sweden.

Välkommen Ebenezer, good to have you here in Sweden! How do you like it so far?

It’s Mr. Scrooge to you. And I don’t care for it. It’s too clean, the Swedes are too happy, and the air is too fresh. A little London smog would do them all some good. This country does have one thing going for it though — it’s cold and dark. Darkness is cheap, and I like it.

If we’re speaking candidly, I do confess to enjoying a hot chocolate in Stortorget — that is, until they set up that vulgar Christmas market and then the atmosphere is ruined.

We take it you don’t have any favourite Swedish Christmas traditions then?

Christmas is nothing but a poor excuse to pick a man’s pockets.

That being said, I enjoy the St. Lucia celebrations because I make a good profit lending money to those sickeningly proud mothers dressing their draggle-haired children in ridiculous costumes. Frankly, I’m flummoxed by the whole thing.

I do admire the way Swedes celebrate Christmas a day earlier. It means it’s over with faster and we can all get back to work.

There must be something you like, Mr. Scrooge! What about the Swedish Christmas table? Everyone loves a julbord!

Bah, humbug! Far too colourful, the fish tastes too much like fish and not enough like the Thames. And who needs to eat so many dishes? Give me my bowl of lukewarm gruel any day!

Don’t even get me started on those lussebullar. The next person to offer me one of those vile things should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.

Surely you can’t help joining in when you hear a Christmas carol?

I despise all Christmas carols. And the people singing them are even worse. There’s nothing more infuriating than having to get up and answer the door to a bunch of rosy-cheeked buffoons with their saccharine smiles.

Swedish carols are even more distasteful than the English ones. Especially ‘Jul Jul Stralande Jul’ — what a load of tommy-rot. They’re nothing but a waste of time, and time is money! Particularly when sung by wretched children, I can’t stand the filthy little urchins.

Well, thanks for your time. It was, erm, uplifting. Guess we shouldn’t ask you why people should come to watch you perform in ‘A Christmas Carol’?

People should absolutely come to see the show. It teaches you about love which is what Christmas is all about. The love of money. You just have to ignore the final ten minutes which is mostly poppycock.

A Christmas Carol is performed in English at Blixten & Co in Stockholm until December 23rd. Find out more and get tickets on the website.

This article was produced by The Local Client Studio and sponsored by Blixton & Co.

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Sweden’s best Christmas markets for 2021

After many Christmas markets were cancelled last season, you may be wondering where you will be able to get this year's dose of Christmas cheer. Here are our suggestions for some of Sweden's best Christmas markets.

snow on stockholm's gamla stan christmas market
Stockholm Old Town's Christmas market may be one of Europe's oldest. Photo: Ola Ericson/


1. Malmö Mitt Möllan

The trendy and multicultural area of Möllevången in Sweden’s third biggest city has become the spot for a special Christmas market for those looking for a modern and hipster-ish atmosphere. The Mitt Möllan traders’ association organises a market that promises art, culture, food and fashion. Busy that weekend? Malmö’s traditional annual Christmas market in Gustav Adolfs square, focusing on local products, is being held in three sessions, from December 9th-12th, 16th-19th and 20-23rd. 

When: December 2nd-5th

Tickets: Free

2. Kalmar Castle, Kalmar

This spectacular 800-year-old castle has established itself as one of the largest Christmas markets in Sweden. For four days, the whole building will be opened to the public and visitors get the chance to wander around in the historic decorated halls. Listen to Christmas and winter music, and walk around the castle and visit some of the about 120 craftsmen from all over Sweden who set up their stands and sell handmade items. 

When: November 25th-28th

Tickets: 90 kronor (free for under-12s)

Kalmar Castle in Småland provides a scenic location for one of Sweden’s largest Christmas markets. Photo: Emmy Jonsson/Scandinav Bildbyrå/

Katrinetorps Landeri, also known as Gourmetgården, is Malmö’s Christmas market for foodies. This market, situated in the house and gardens of Katrinetorp, built in the 1800s, will have a focus on Christmassy food such as glögg (mulled wine), as well as a horse and cart, antiques, a Lucia parade and dancing around the Christmas tree. They will also be offering their own handmade products in their deli.

When: December 3-5th

Tickets: 80 kronor for adults, free for children under 15

4. Jul på Bosjökloster, Höör

Christmas at Bosjökloster monastery is also back for 2021! As in previous years, this market will feature Christmas concerts in the church, as well as locally produced gifts and food for perfect Christmas gifts. Visitors will also be able to eat a traditional Swedish julbord, meet Santa, ride a horse and cart and “look for presents in the maze”. This market is taking place on the first weekend of advent, meaning you can start getting into the Christmas spirit as early as November!

When: November 26th-28th

Tickets: 100 kronor for adults, dropping to 50 kronor after 2pm on Sunday and free after 3pm on Sunday. Free for children under 16. Over-65s pay 80 kronor on Friday


5. Liseberg theme park, Gothenburg

Sweden’s biggest amusement park, Gothenburg attraction Liseberg, lights up every year with millions of Christmas candles. A traditional Christmas Market and an old-fashioned Christmas market in different areas of the park offer everything from carol singing to pony carousel rides. Ice shows, Santa’s grotto, an ice skating rink and the park’s rabbits are sure to keep your little ones entertained. More information here.

When: Thursdays-Sundays between November 19th and December 30th. Check website for more details.

Tickets: Entrance from 95 kronor (free for children up to 110 centimetres) to 245 kronor for unlimited rides. The price varies depending on which day you visit as well as whether you want to go on the rides or not.


Gothenburg’s Liseberg theme park is host to a Christmas market complete with festive lights. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/Scanpix/TT

6. Skansen, Stockholm

Take the ferry over to Stockholm’s Djurgården island from Slussen and stroll over to Skansen, Europe’s biggest outdoor museum, which has organized its own Christmas market since 1903. It’s a great place to snap up some presents in the form of traditional Swedish arts and crafts, as well as having a feel of how Christmas was celebrated in the past.

When: Fridays-Sundays between November 26th and December 19th.

Tickets: 70 kronor for children aged 4-15, 160 kronor for adults and 140 kronor for concessions.

7. Old Town, Stockholm

Around 40 stands set up shop right in the middle of Stockholm’s Old Town ahead of the festive season, selling Swedish Christmas sweets, smoked reindeer, elk meat, a range of Swedish handicrafts and decorative arts, and much more. The setting alone is enough to get anyone into a romantic Christmas mood. This market might actually be one of the oldest in Europe, since the first Christmas market in the square was held as early as 1523 (although it started in its current format in 1837).

When: November 20th-December 23rd

Tickets: Free

8. Wadköping Christmas Market, Örebro

The Wadköping outdoor museum, which is an echo of what Örebro looked like centuries ago, organises a Christmas market full of the usual traditions: Christmas decorations, sausages, cheeses and arts and crafts. 2021’s Christmas market will also feature outdoor Christmas songs and pony riding.

When: November 21st and 28th, December 5th and 12th

Tickets: Free


9. Gammelstads Kyrkstad, Luleå

Brave the cold (and it will be cold) for a Christmas market in the far north of Sweden. The Gammelstad Church Town is the country’s largest and best preserved church town, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is over 400 years old, and comprises of 405 cottages, six stables and a privy, sprawling around a large medieval stone church. The Christmas market takes place at the Hägnan open air museum, where around 80 exhibitors sell products from home-baked goods to arts and crafts. Visitors this year will be able to make their own candles, meet Santa and go on a candle-lit walking tour through the museum.

When: December 4th-5th

Tickets: 30 kronor

10. Jokkmokk Christmas Market, Jokkmokk

Jokkmokk is located in the north of Sweden, in the Arctic Circle. It is an important place for the Sami people, the only indigenous population in Scandinavia. It is famous for its winter market in February, which first took place in 1605. At their recently-established Christmas market, held in celebration of the winter solstice, visitors will find traditional Sami handicrafts – called duodji – and learn more about their history and culture.

When: December 11th-12th

Tickets: Free

Traditional Sami handicrafts – called guksi or kåsa – wooden drinking cups available at the Jokkmokk Christmas and winter markets. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix/TT

11. Christmas Market at Nordanå, Skellefteå

Are you in Skellefteå this December? Pay a visit to the Christmas market at Nordanå, which started in 1975. It is particularly known for its arts and crafts, and in past years visitors have been able to buy handmade ceramics, knitted baby clothes, and tin thread jewellery.

When: December 5th

Tickets: Free

12. Christmas Market at Västerbotten Museum, Umeå

This Umeå museum dedicated to the region of Västerbotten organises its annual Christmas market again. It promises a candy shop, horse-drawn carriage rides, a bakehouse and more than 80 artisans selling locally produced food and quality wares. Hungry visitors can also learn about what Christmas dinner from this region may have looked like in the 1870s.

When: December 4th-5th

Tickets: Free