Merry Christmas From Sweden!


By Elena Karimi

Swedish Christmas is usually white, snow up to ten centimeters high. This year, there is no snow, except the measly remnants of the snow that fell a couple of weeks ago. Though it doesn't feel like Christmas, I am looking forward to the days away from work, the cosy evenings in-front of the fireplace with the in-laws and the dog in-law licking me in love, tail wagging violently, as though we have signed an agreement. I like the familiar small family of seven or eight if you count the dog, that gives me space to be myself. Some years, my guy Sebastian and I escape to a sunny place, running away from Christmas. This year, we decided to celebrate Christmas with his family, our family. Still, I am longing away to childhood Christmases surrounded by my own siblings and relatives. Hearing my childhood language spoken in childhood voices when I wake up in the mornings. The irony is, the magic of childhood Kenyan Christmases has been gone for many years now. Still, no Christmas away from Kenya ever measures up as a trigger for the celebratory mood I had as a child. I often wonder if other migrants and Afro-swedes, walk around in a daze, longing for another Christmas, in another place, with other people. The little nuances that differ between Kenyan and Swedish Christmas may be the cause of this lack of celebratory glee.

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