On Sunday, we walked with the American editor and his wife past Nordiska Kompaniet - NK, Stockholm's grand old department store on Hamngatan - and I don't know whether I ever noticed before that, just like the Marshall Field's in the downtown Chicago of my childhood, the store windows are all decked out for Christmas with animated displays and parents seem to bring their children to look at them.
As a child, I would have been scared out of my wits by the Santas in the windows at NK, however. Each window featured a larger-than-life animatronic Santa with huge veiny hands, and a face that seemed to bear the marks of a lot of hard drinking. Very creepy.
The Swedish word for the day is risgrynsgröt. It means rice pudding, something Swedes eat for breakfast on Christmas.
- by Francis S.