Advent stories and messages from around the world
A Donald Duck Christmas
December 10, 2021
As I researched many different Christmas traditions from around the world, I would have to say that I found Sweden’s Christmas Eve tradition the strangest.
Every December 24 since 1958, at 3 p.m. in the afternoon, families in Sweden sit down in front of their televisions and watch,
Kalle Anka och Hans vanner onskar God Jul, or “Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas.”
Most of the show is a repeat of the 1958 Walt Disney Present Christmas special, “From all of Us to All of You.” The show airs without commercial interruption (Yeah, try that in the States!).
It’s pretty much the same show every year with clips from old Disney movies, and surprisingly not very much of it has to do with Christmas. (Disney has one Caveat, Swedish television must show a trailer of the most Disney film.)
Here’s the most fascinating part of this tradition. Almost half of all the households in Sweden watch this “Donald Duck” special every year!
(Excerpts taken from Culture Boxes Nordic Quack, by Jeremy Stahl, 2009, December 22)
50% of the families in Sweden stop what they’re doing on Christmas Eve and watch a Disney Donald Duck Christmas special. Wouldn’t it be amazing if 50% of the people in the United States stopped for one hour every Sunday and went to church to worship God?
In my 25 years in full-time ministry, I was always amazed at how many unfamiliar faces I saw at church on Christmas Eve. One of my pastors used to call it a case of C.E.O.’s. These are people who only come to church only on Christmas and Easter.
I laughed when I heard the term C.E.O. used to reference people’s church attendance. But, actually, it’s pretty sad, isn’t it?
As Jesus reclined in the upper room with His disciples, He instituted what we refer to as The Last or The Lord’s Supper.
“After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For, I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way, after the supper, he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
Jesus set a precedent when He said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” I notice the church has often added a word to that sentence, “often.”
Yes, we should remember our Lord Jesus often. We should think about and worship Him in everything we do, whether playing or working. We worship Jesus when we receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion, His Body, and Blood which is really present in the bread and wine.
It’s not something to be taken lightly because Jesus Himself, the Son of God, told His disciples (That’s you and me!) to “Do this in memory of Me.”
Don’t be a C.E.O. and (get ready, here it comes) don’t “Duck” any opportunity you have to worship Jesus, with all of your heart, your soul, and mind.
Dear Jesus. So many times, we find excuses to not take time to worship You by partaking of the Sacrament you instituted at the Last Supper. Help us to do better and to take every opportunity we can to worship you with all of our hearts. Amen