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December 23: Begin celebrating

"Life is short, celebrate often," is a favorite family quote, a reminder to honor special moments, both big and small.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, which is when Swedish families do the major Christmas celebration. That means that today is a prep day. 

But don't you think that prep days deserve a little celebrating too? 

My morfar (my Swedish grandfather) established a Christmas Eve morning tradition, and I wanted to share it with you today in the event that you wanted to put it into practice tomorrow.

In Sweden, the main event on Christmas Eve is dinner. But since by this point in December there are usually plenty of cookie tins full of treats, my morfar decided that the celebrating should start early in the day: with breakfast. 

To this day, on Christmas Eve morning, my family begins the day in the winter darkness, with a breakfast of cookies and glögg (ok, there are some savory open-faced sandwiches in there too) lit only by candles.

The table is spread with trays filled with all of the cookies we have made over the previous weeks, the special red wooden candleholders are out, and it's an indulgent and celebratory affair, a special occasion that only happens once a year. If you're in need of an extra cookie to fill out the table, try these sliced rye pepparkakor.

Feel free to incorporate any or all of this tradition into your celebrating tomorrow, or even on Christmas Day.

And while you're at it, make a little extra room for celebration today. 


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