Bloggen för Expats | Living in Sweden | Swedish culture

Even Santa has setbacks

Dec 20, 2017 anne_pihl
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Feeling a little frazzled in the pre-Christmas rush? Take heart…it happens to the best of us. Spare a thought for Santa this Christmas. It’s been a tough year for him in Sweden and worldwide.

2017 was a challenging year for Santa

• The cancellation of the Santa-world-cup in Swedish Lapland was a serious PR blow
• Global warming and lack of snow has made classic Christmas conditions unattainable in many parts of the country
• #Fakenews has made children less willing to believe. Even Santa’s credibility is challenged

A listing on Forbes Fictional Fifteen could mark a turning point

It remains to be seen if Santa will make the next Forbes Fictional Fifteen, the list compiled as a complement to Forbes annual list of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Santa has failed to make the top 15 in recent years, squeezed out by the likes of Richie Rich, Montgomery Burns and Scrooge McDuck – mining magnate and uncle of Donald Duck – who currently occupies the top spot with an estimated net worth of $65bn. A return to the top list might just help to turn things around for Santa.

New in Sweden and wondering how Swedish Santa operates?

It’s worth noting that things work a little differently in Sweden. Here are some ”Santa essentials” for anyone experiencing Swedish Christmas for the first time:

1. Santa does not slide down chimneys or magically deliver presents.
2. He arrives in person on December 24th (the Day Christmas is celebrated in Sweden) for a personal handover of presents, usually during the late afternoon or early evening.
3. Santa is called “Tomte” in Swedish.

Interested in experiencing Swedish ”Tomte”?

Sweden is a wonderful place to celebrate Christmas with an abundance of traditions, starting with the first Sunday of advent through to 12th Night (“trettondagsafton” in Swedish). This short clip from the film Fanny & Alexander provides a good visual of a classic Swedish Christmas celebration. If you are new in Sweden and would like the Tomte experience but don’t have anyone to step into the role, professional help is available. Taxi Stockholm have offered a Santa Claus door service called Taxitomten since 2004 which allows Stockholmers to book a Father Christmas to visit their families and drop off their Christmas gifts direct to their homes. You can also find a wide range of other professional Santas in Sweden by googling “hyra tomte”.

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Relocating staff or yourself to Sweden and need some help? Please don’t hesitate to contact us at or check out our services at

Happy Christmas everyone!

Relocate to Sweden provides expert advice and hands-on help for companies recruiting internationally or transferring staff to Sweden and for private relocation. We help with the entire relocation process including immigration, home finding, tax consultancy, registration with Swedish authorities, schools, health care, language and intercultural training. Email us at or call us on +46 8 361011 if you would like help. You can also read more about our relocation services at

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