Culture comes with trappings. Stuff. Thus we, at the end of each November, go down to the basement looking for The Boxes. The ones full of Advent and Christmas stuff. Decorations. I'm not normally a fan of decorations (unless we're talking art, but china figurines and pretty tablecloths don't enter this household), but when Christmas is drawing near, I succumb to my inner child. The gaudier, the better.
I have a number of nativity scenes. I put one in each room. I have one for daughter to play with. She usually plays with the others.
Every window should have an Advent star. This is very, very common in Sweden, and the stars come in all kinds of shapes and materials. Being a minimalist at heart (though not in practice), I favour white simple ones. Lots of Swedes also put a kind of electric candlestick, triangular shaped, on their windowsills. I think they're ugly. No fake candles here.
Advent candlesticks. I love them. Four candles, one for each Sunday in Advent. I even have a tiny, tiny kitschy one at work.
And talking about anticipation, the Advent calendars are also everywhere. We have at least four at home. Three of which are my daughter's. One of those is pictured here, with one gift for each of the days in December, leading up to Dec 24. Yes, Christmas Eve. We get our gifts on Christmas Eve. Barbaric, I know.
And then there is of course the food and drink: saffron buns, julmust (a kind of softdrink), glögg (mulled wine), ginger cookies (some people build little model houses of ginger cookie dough), and ridiculous amounts of candy.