Despite the days being veiled in grey, the city has put on all its Christmas finery. There are glittering lights strung everywhere, Christmas markets on various squares, and on Skeppsbron stands the huge, perfect Christmas tree that has been carefully pieced together over the past couple of weeks, the live branches hung on a massive trunk and the whole thing covered in a net of tiny lights - it's so terribly Swedish to want to have a real live tree but to have it perfectly shaped at the same time, then to make the effort to do something so elaborate that ends up with such simple, yet satisfying results. That tree amazes me every year, I feel like a giddy little kid every time I walk past it.
The Swedish word for the day is utmaning. It means challenge.
- by Francis S.