Hels bought me a Marks and Spencer chocolate advent calendar. So far I’ve had chocolates shaped as a snowman, a cracker, a stocking and a penguin – all closely related to Christian symbolism, undoubtedly.
I’m also mildly disturbed by the image on the front of the calendar, which shows the portly bearded chappy in his red outfit admonishing the onlooker to be quiet whilst, through a doorway, a young boy sleeps in his bed. Frankly, I think he should be reported to the authorities.
Not that I’m ungrateful for the chocolates, I hasten to add.
When we were in Malmö, we went into a department store where there was a long queue of children (and parents) waiting to sit on Santa’s knee. Clearly the over-zealous child protection lobby that we have here and in America has not yet reached southern Sweden, as the children actually were sitting on the besuited fella’s leg. But the one thing that I did notice was that this particular Santa had a notebook and pen for writing down the requests of the children. I was very disappointed to see this, as I always assumed that he could remember all these things without notes. After all, he is able to visit all the children of the world in one night, and also knows whether they’ve been "good" or "bad" as well. My illusion has been shattered.
I also noticed that he was left-handed.