The custom of having a Christmas came across from Germany in the 1880s. There's no settling for any straggly Christmas tree in Sweden. On the day before Christmas Eve, when Swedes search for their tree, perfection is prerequisite – its branches must be bushy and evenly spread, and it must be straight – any lopsidedness simply will not do. Whether you buy the tree in a city, or whether you fell it yourself in the country, great importance is placed on its shape.
Bedecked with baubles, flying with flags, trimmed with tinsel or laden with lights...families each have their individual ways of adorning their trees, and indeed their homes in general. One thing that will be common to most houses is the pungent fragrance of hyacinths, a Swedish favourite.