Christmas Around the World: Christmas in Sweden Lesson Plans


Sweden is a Scandinavian country, the source of over one million immigrants to the United States in the 19th century. Learn about Christmas in Sweden with the customs of St. Lucia’s day, Swedish inspired ornaments, and some graphing.

St. Lucia’s Day, December 13th, is the beginning of Christmas in Sweden. The eldest daughter of a family wears a white dress, and a wreath on her head. She brings coffee and special buns to her parents. Swedish schools have a St. Lucia procession with one or more girls wearing a wreath with candles, while the other girls wear unlighted wreathes and the boys wear star-decked paper cones. Make St. Lucia hats and have yourself a procession.

Books for this study:

Christmas trees in Sweden are decorated with Swedish flags, red hearts, and decorations traditionally made from straw. Classic shapes are the Julbok, hearts, angels, and stars. We’ve made these, and we can tell you that it’s harder than it looks.

Swedish ornaments

An alternative for the classroom is to create simple stars from kraft sticks and Glue Dots. Begin with a glue dot in the center of one kraft stick, and place another stick at right angles to it. Add two more sticks in the same way. Place another glue dot and use it to anchor a length of string. Red is traditional for a Swedish Christmas. Weave the string over and under the sticks, finishing by anchoring the end in the glue dot. Place one more glue dot at the end of a stick and create a loop for the tree, or to hang the stars from the ceiling.

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Christmas Eve is a day of celebration, with a feast called the Julbord which includes ham, cabbage dishes, fish, cheese, beet salad, sausages, and gingerbread.


A surprising custom is the watching of Kalle Anka (Donald Duck) in a Christmas TV special which has been shown every year at the same time on Christmas Eve since 1959. 50% of Swedish TVs tune in. Your students may have TV Christmas specials they like to watch each year, too. Do some graphing to discover the class favorite.

Learn about more Christmas Customs with our Christmas Around the World Lesson Plans collection.

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