Julstämning – the Swedish word that doesn’t really have an equivalent in English. Christmas Spirit according to google, but it’s more than that – it’s a whole mood.Holiday mood, also according to Google, or festive spirit, or Christmas atmosphere – but none of those really capture the magic that is julstämning.
Julstämning is the mood your in when you feel Yule in your soul, in your being. It is the magic of festive lights, of glitter and baubles, of old carols sung for centuries, of the traditions of people who went before you. Eating Christmas porridge, seeing people being happy, hearing church bells at 6 a.m. Decorating the tree and lighting the candles. Listening to Jussi Björling singing ”O, Helga Natt”.
It’s what everyone aspires to at Christmas, an elusive mood that can only be experienced in the here and now, and is often not available for everyone because of the circumstances. But it still lingers as a sort of ideal to aspire to. A bit of hygge, but yule specific.
I hope we all get some of this julstämning this Christmas!