In Sweden, Christmas comes a night early, celebrated on Julafton (Christmas Eve), with many old traditions.
My personal theory is that Sweden is closer to the North Pole, so it's time-economical for Santa to stop by early. And in fact, he does come in person. A little rat-tat-tat on the door and a jolly voice asks, "Are there any nice children here?"
That Santa, Tomten, comes directly from the American concept of Santa Claus. But there are also tomtar, little gnomes/ mini Santas that visit on Christmas.
(This entry talks about sex in a historical and cultural way. If you don't like that, stop reading here.)
The answer is no, and luckily, the Dutch and Swedes don't have as much of a problem with sex as we do in the puritan legacy of the United States. (Fun fact, while doing a presentation on sex education way back in high school, I learned that the Netherlands starts sex education in preschool. You can read more about global comparisons of that here.)
The result at the Swedish Maritime Museum (Sjöhistoriska Museet) is an exhibit by multimedia artist Saskia Boddeke and film director Peter Greenaway about "identity, longing, and man's sexuality at sea."
A museum in blog form.
Come read the stories behind objects and ephemera found in private collections, archives, and museums.