Swedish Christmas

Jamestown is the place to be in order to prepare for a Swedish Christmas.

A Swedish Christmas market, called a “Julmarknad,” will be celebrated Saturday.

Traditionally, the Julmarknad was when the farmers would each bring their specialty items to the village market. One could purchase items made by one’s neighbors. Perhaps it was baked items, a carved wooden horse, a new knitted Sweater or a tomte figure.

Everybody looking for something special for Christmas could find it at the Julmarknad.

Jamestown is joining together for a full day of Julmarknad activities. Kicking off the day is the Swedish market at Jamestown Community College’s Hamilton Collegiate Center from 9 a.m. to noon.

More than 25 tables of Swedish-style, homemade and imported items will display a wide variety of gift ideas.

There will be Swedish antiques, linens, books, ornaments, woven and knitted items, Swedish Christmas cards, wrapping paper, stickers, table runners, wooden items and many other choices.

From 10 a.m. to noon, there will be workshops such as chip carving, knitting, Swedish language, Swedish weaving, music, Swedish painting and more. Children will be encouraged to join the Thule Lodge Children’s Folk Dancers with some traditional Christmas ring dances. Lucia and her court will make an appearance. Svenska Spelman will provide background music.

Some of the visitors will win door prizes such as Swedish Kosta Boda glassware or wall hangings. All of this is free and open to the public.

This will be followed by a complete Swedish Christmas Julbord/Smorgasbord at noon for which a $5 donation is requested.

The menu includes Julskinka (Christmas ham), Swedish meatballs, korv, fruit soupa, picked herring, rice pudding, salmon, cucumber salad, yellow pea soup, Johnson’s temptation, boiled potatoes, Swedish brown beans, pickled beets, red cabbage, Swedish Christmas cookies, assorted breads including vort limpa and crisp bread.

This event is sponsored by the Scandinavian Studies Program with the purpose of educating the community about Swedish Christmas traditions.

Additional market sites are located around the Jamestown neighborhood. One can walk across the street to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for free admission, additional refreshments, a raffle, music by Svenska Spelman at 2 p.m. and items in their gift shop.

Special holiday programs, “Birds of the Home and Garden,” will be presented at 11 a.m. by Scott Kruitbosch, RTPI conservation outreach coordinator, and “Tour of the RTPI Archives” by RTPI Education Department staff at 1 p.m. One can then drive to the Fenton History Center for another door prize raffle and visit the Swedish room decorated for Christmas for an $8 admission. There is also a candle light tour at 7 p.m.; reservations are required with a $15 fee for adults.

Travel around town to Country Woods Country Store with their Swedish Room – well stocked for Christmas with red wooden candle holders, electric candelabras, straw goats and more. Nearby is Ecklof Bakery with free samples, a raffle of baked items and a number of Swedish seasonal baked items such as vort limpa bread, spritz, pepparkakor and holiday cookies, cardamom braids and rolls, Tom and Jerry mix, scorper, almond braids and tarts. Korv burgers are served in the deli now also offering deli meats and cheeses such as Bond Ost.

Travel across town to Peterson Farm for the raffle of a large Swedish food basket and free samples of assorted Swedish Christmas foods including Swedish meatballs, Julskinka , yellow pea soup and alcohol-free glogg. One can also place an order or pick-up Julskinka and sylta, lutfisk, korv and many other imported Swedish foods. Since Jones 212 Bakery and Cafe is closed on Saturday, they will celebrate on Friday with a raffle and offer Swedish baked items like limpa and vort limpa bread, Swedish Christmas cookies, and Tom and Jerry mix.

Close out the day with a homemade Swedish korv dinner served with homemade pie and bread at Immanuel Lutheran Church sponsored by The Tree of Life Lutheran Community with sittings at 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30. For reservations call 640-1087 or 488-1555. Music will be provided by Svenska Spelman.

For further information, call 665-0883 or visit www.scandinavianjamestown.org.