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#SwedishChristmas: How Elsa Beskow created a timeless Swedish Christmas

Swedish illustrator and writer Elsa Beskow did double-duty to make her mark on Christmas in Sweden. Photo: SvD/TT

Published: 17.Dec.2018 08:33 hrs

Every day until Christmas Eve, The Local explains the unique history behind Swedish Christmas traditions in our own Advent calendar.

This article is available to Members of The Local. Read more articles for Members here.

Since the 19th century, some of Sweden's most famous writers and artists have contributed to shaping Swedish Christmas. The poetry and prose of writers like Selma Lagerlöf, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and the illustrations of artists like Carl Larsson helped define Christmas through the distribution of jultidningar (Swedish Christmas magazines). The jultomte (a.k.a. the Swedish Santa) was introduced and popularized with the publication of writer Viktor Rydberg's poem and short story, and the accompanying illustrations of Jenny Nyström.

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