We used the holly and silvered sprays in the decorations. The holly makes the very prettiest I think. We used the silvered bull [pine] sprigs of last year again as a centerpiece and the candles. They are so festive; we burned them all evening. We used up one pair of white ones and part of one short pair of red ones and greatly diminished the tall red ones. Ralph remembered how last Xmas you had said to light the candles to eat by and thus you’d be blessing us as we dined. After the dinner Shirley reduced the table to a round, removed the decorations, added candy, nuts, and fruit and fresh candles. Ina Dobson on Christmas 1937
My Grandfather Portfors, my mother's father, was a Swede. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 16 in 1891. But we know nothing about our Swedish heritage. Grandpa's goal was to assimilate the American culture as quickly as possible. He wanted to be American, not Swedish. With the exception of a few childhood anecdotes, we know nothing about his life in Sweden. If Mother had a burning interest in Swedish traditional foods -- you know, like Swedish spritz and Swedish tea rings, she didn't say so in my hearing. I think they were just the popular traditions of the era.
One day early in December, Mother would make her Swedish tea rings for Christmas morning. There would be two of them -- one was cinnamon raisin and the other holiday fruit. She baked and then froze them for warming Christmas morning.
I found an old recipe card for Swedish tea rings in handwriting I don't recognize. I also found recipes in Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book and Meta Givens' Encyclopedia of Cooking. I decided not to post such an involved recipe. We're all busy in real time, right?
Oh -- and on Christmas morning my mother set out her tea rings for early risers, but my dad served biscuits, eggs and bacon.
The card: Candle centerpieces were apparently a popular card theme. Are candles still important? KW