Sunday, December 2, 2012

Swedish Christmas Party - Countdown to Christmas - Day 2

For several years now we have attended Elim Lutheran Church’s Elva Kaffe Swedish Christmas Party. When we first began attending, it was held on Saturday and there was a more formal music performance with different age groups singing as well as a handbell performance.

This year, we arrived when it opened and we were the first and only customers for the half hour we were there. Apparently the church service ran a bit longer than anticipated and the congregants didn't start arriving until we were ready to leave.

Olivia and Sophia at the table ready to have breakfast.

 So, we had a quiet breakfast together at a Swedish-inspired decorated table.

One of the table decorations.
Each table at the party was decorated with 
different centerpieces and candles/candleholders.

We enjoyed the traditional cardamom bread with a cheese slice. There were two types of cheeses on the plate.

We obviously enjoyed the bread and cheese 
given there was little remaining on the plate.

There was also a tray of home-baked cookies which we enjoyed.

The cookies we ate were all delicious.
Such a wonderful variety of sweets!

As we have done in past years, we wanted to visit Gammelgarden - a Swedish museum just a bit south of Elim Lutheran Church. However, this year it wasn't open. We'll go back another time. The girls have to have their annual picture taken by the tomten.

When they were younger they eagerly sat by the figures. Now that they're older it takes a bit of persuasion. Sophia's proposal: "If you get to take my picture by the tomten, then I get to take your picture by the tomten." She knows how much I don't like to have my picture she figures it's equally as "painful."

Anyway, since Gammelgarden was closed, I brought Sophia and Olivia to play practice. They are getting ready for the annual Christmas play at church. Proceeds from the ticket sales this year are supporting a veterans' retreat center. It is for veterans who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan; and who need the support and rest provided by the center.

Decorated tree at the Swedish Christmas Party.

As a side note, I was curious as to what "Elva Kaffe" meant since I'm not Swedish nor are my ancestors. According to Wikipedia, "In the United Kingdom and Ireland, elevenses is a snack that is similar to afternoon tea, but eaten in the morning. It is generally less savory than brunch, and might consist of some cake or biscuits with a cup of coffee or tea. The name refers to the time of day that it is taken: around 11:00 a.m.

"In Sweden elevenses is a tradition mostly associated with elderly people, the Swedish word is 'elva-kaffe' meaning 'eleven-coffee.' It is often served with some kind of cookie but the main focus is on the coffee."

Okay...that makes sense. Now I understand why the hostesses kept asking me if I wanted coffee. (No less than four times in the half hour I was asked if I wanted coffee.) The red drink we all had was quite need for coffee otherwise we all would have had more energy than we would have known what to do with it.


April's Homemaking said...

Sounds like a fun tradition! Loved learning about Elva Kaffe. :)

Rita said...

My siblings and I were the last of the full-blooded Swedes in the family line. Coffee is something all my Swedish relatives (and myself included) can drink right up until we turn out the lights to go to bed. LOL! But they never had coffee at certain times. It was all the time--a cup by your side. And I carry on the proud tradition. ;)

I hope you get to go back to the museum. And I hate to say it but it's only fair you get your picture taken, too. I HATE having mine taken, also--hehe! ;)