Monday, December 6, 2010

A Very Swedish Christmas - The Christmas Present of the Year!

OK, this is an interesting Swedish phenomenon, but every year the media announces THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT OF THE YEAR. I'm never very sure who decides the Christmas Present of the year, and many years they are very off base, but you can usually take the selection as indication of spending moods of the population, the economy, and trends.

Take last year, for example. Last year's present of the year was the very strange plastic 'bed of nails.' People weren't expected to spend too much on Christmas presents when the economy was still a little uncertain, but they were expected to spend 80-100 dollars on a plastic bed of nails to lie on to relieve their stress about the poor economy. These were all over the place, so much so that the New York Times did a write up on the phenomenon. I told my husband he would be in big trouble if I found a plastic bed of nails under the tree.

Here is a list of Christmas presents of years past

2008: An Experience
2007: A GPS
2006: An audiobook
2005: A poker set
2004: A flatscreen TV
2003: A hat
2002: A cookbook
2001: A tool
2000: A dvd player
1999: Books (the bible in particular)
1998: Computer games
1997: Electronic pets
1996: An internet package
1995: A CD
1994: A cell phone
1993: perfume
1992: A videogame
1991: a CD player
1990: a Wok
1989: A video camera
1988: A bread machine

And 2010! The Christmas Present of the year is the Surfplatta.

One woman told me 'I don't know why the Surfplatta is the Christas present of the year, I mean, how much surfing can we do in Sweden, anyway?' I pointed out that it probably shouldn't be used for that kind of surfing and I think she was a little embarassed.

I'm all teched out at the moment – with my new Mac everything but an Ipad – so I will say, no thank you to this one. Haven't gotten X-mas present of the year yet, maybe next year it will be something more my speed.


  1. I have seen those horrible plastic mat things around and couldn't figure them out. Were you supposed to stand on them? Sit on them? What the hell? Why, Swedes, why?

    The one for this year for kids is evidently some kind of penguin?

    This phenomenon reminds me of lördag godis. Or godis lördag or whatever it is. And how everybody decorates the same for Xmas, and eats the same foods all the time, by which I mean potatoes.

  2. I think you are supposed to lie on the mat without a shirt on - it is supposed to stimulate blood flow. This will 'cure' you of back pain, stress, circulatory problems, etc.

    I must admit I am too scared to try one.

    I know, I have trouble with Lordags godis, too. But tend to find Swedish godis to be pretty gross in general

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