Christmas is celebrated throughout December and traditionally until St. Knut's Day on January 13. The main celebration and the exchange of gifts in many families takes place on Christmas Eve, December 24.

The Lucia Day is celebrated during Advent, on December 13. Christmas time in Sweden is a time for families, and central to the celebrations is the traditional smörgåsbord with its ham and pickled herring.

The day before Christmas Eve, an expedition is mounted to find the perfect Christmas tree. City dwellers of course will need to buy theirs, but those who live in the country will fell their own with axes or saws.

'Jultomten', also known simply as ”Tomten”, is Sweden's Father Christmas, visiting houses in the afternoon on Christmas Eve to distribute presents to children. 'Jultomten' pays a visit to each neighbourhood sometime in the afternoon.

Jultomten does not climb down the chimney, he delivers the gifts in person. This task is often performed by an old man who secretly dresses up as 'Jultomten' and knocks at the door with a sack of gifts.

The origin of the modern 'Jultomten' is a hybridisation between the pre-Christian being called Tomte and the (originally Dutch) Santa Claus. A Tomte is mostly portrayed as a small, gnomelike spirit being who lives on a farm and takes care of it (or the family) while the farmer family are asleep.

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