Simple Traditions – Ties To Sweden

Coffee. It can be both simple and complex. Growing up, I remember my parents always had fresh brewed coffee each morning. The wonderful aroma would fill the entire house. My mom would put a splash of coffee in a small cup with milk and coffee cream for me on the weekends. I thought I was so grown up having a cup of coffee.

My favorite Christmas mug with coffee and lefse

Thinking back to those times, it wasn’t so much about drinking coffee, but sitting with my parents at the kitchen table. The morning sun would shine through the back kitchen window and drench the floor in light and warmth. The three of us would sit and talk all morning. Most often there were cinnamon rolls, or some sort of donuts or pastries. It is something I have carried with me and now do with my husband and son on many weekends for a treat.

Over the years my mom has told me stories about her childhood and having coffee with her dad. As well as her remembering how much her mom enjoyed coffee.  I always thought it was neat that she did the same thing with me.  Little did I know then that this simple tradition has some history to it.

Over the years I have spent time looking into my family history and heritage. I love learning about where my family came from. Between my parents, I know I am German, Irish, and Swedish. I’m hoping this year to have one of the DNA tests done to find out all the details. I would love to get one for my son and husband as well. I think it is important to know where we come from. 

Recently I have been looking into the different traditions in Swedish culture when I came across the word, “fika.”  Fika is usually translated as “a coffee and cake break” which is correct, kind of. Fika is an important part of Swedish culture. It is a state of mind, an attitude, a ritual. I learned that Swedes consider it important to take time to stop and socialize.  It’s like a “reset” button for your mind. It can help strengthen friendships and relationships as well.  Many companies in Sweden even take time for fika.  Yep, it’s that important!

After doing a little reading about what fika is, I’d like to think fika is something my mom’s family kept with them when they came to the United States. Sadly, over the decades we’ve become a society of, “hurry up and get it done, there’s more to do” and we’ve lost a lot of what’s important. Taking time to connect with each other.  I know the struggles of 2020 and COVID-19 have made connecting with friends and family difficult.  However, I hope this year we can all take a little time in our days to be grateful, connect with someone and have a coffee and a tasty treat! 

So how do you fika?
It doesn’t matter what you eat or drink. In Sweden, most often it is a cup of coffee and a small, sweet treat. However, some people like to sip tea and have a small snack.  Remember, it’s not about the food or drink, it’s about slowing down and catching up.  Another amazing detail I read about fika is that it’s often enjoyed by candlelight.  Imagine if companies here in the United States took the time to slow down, relax, and socialize.  I honestly think people would be more productive, not as stressed, and happier at their job.

I absolutely loved learning about this and seeing the similarities tied to my family.  I’m hoping I can add this to my life, somehow. I think fika via Zoom or Discord needs to become a thing!

Remember to take time to slow down. Life is not a race.

Love you all & God bless.

  1. What kind of old traditions does your family still follow?
  2. Coffee or tea?  What kind is your favorite?
  3. Do you take time in the morning or afternoon to enjoy a cup and connect with a friend, family member or co-worker?

4 thoughts on “Simple Traditions – Ties To Sweden

  1. So my mom has been sick for about two weeks. She quarantined herself, just in case, but later found out it wasn’t covid. But still being a mom she didn’t want me to catch it so she asked me to not come over until she was better. She didn’t want it to pass to me, whatever she had. Well these two weeks my coffee just wasn’t the same as when I drank it with her at her house. I use the same brand of coffee, sugar, and cream! But it wasn’t the same. This week I finally got to go to her house because she’s feeling much better and guess what…. now my coffee tastes wonderful! We always joke that her coffee tastes better but in reality I think it’s just the company. 🥰

    1. I’m so happy it wasn’t COVID and she’s feeling better! I completely understand things not being the same. When my husband and I moved into our first home, I bought the same coffee that my parents always had. It wasn’t the same, but at their house, it always tasted great! I really think sometimes it is the company and the memories it brings that makes all the difference. <3

  2. My family doesn’t really have any old traditions, but Joe (JoeKnowsGames) and I are working on starting our own. We’re big coffee fans, but lately we’ve been drinking more tea with honey to cut back on using creamer so much, it’s been tough! During the work week I try to text a few people to say good morning while my students are eating breakfast, but I’m horrible at keeping up with people, that’s definitely something I need to improve! Thank you so much for your story!

    1. I love that you two are working on starting your own! Cherish every moment.
      Over the years my husband and I have combined some of our family traditions, as well as started some of our own with our son. It’s fun to look back and see how some of ours “just started” without much thought at all.

      I really enjoy coffee and tea! My mornings are not the same without coffee though! I really need to get better and keeping up and checking in with people too. Sometimes my brain goes running off in 50 different directions!

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