Think being in Sweden guarantees me a white Christmas? Think again. We still haven’t had any snow since early November, and the temperature continues to hover just above freezing.

On the other hand, one of the delights of the holiday season in Sweden is the Christmas decorations which, apropos of Swedish culture, are restrained and tasteful. The Ned Flanders Christmas decoration scheme is inconceivable here, no oversized multicolored lights or plastic Santas to be seen on people’s lawns, just sparkling yellow-white lights everywhere. It’s very nice.

Speaking of lights, last night I got a glimpse of aurora borealis. We were at the dorm at an end-of-term party and had gone to another corridor to try to persuade some other friends to come to the party, when another partygoer came in and said, “The Northern Lights!” We rushed outside. We had missed the most spectacular part of it, but we could see the traces of green in the sky. I didn’t take a picture, but it looked a bit like this one:

From http://www.hustadnes.net/Tur/Svalbard/Hornsund1.htm

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