18 April


One year, I was browsing through the Christmas paraphernalia at Ikea and noticed that all of it – decorations, trees, wrapping paper, cards – was labelled “snömys” so I tried to translate that from Swedish to English… and stumped Google. Next, I emailed an Australian friend who had lived in Sweden for many years and this is what she said:

  • Snö = snow
  • Mys is probably related to “mysig” which means something like cosy, pleasant, nice.  Close to gemuetlich, I think, in German.
  • So I’d guess overall something like “snow fun” or “the joy of snow”.
18 apr 2016 A.jpg
18 apr 2016 B.jpg The original snömys.

You have, no doubt, noticed that a lot of Christmas is based on winter and I now think of this as “snömys” (which I treat as a plural because it works for me but I know that’s not a fair translation of the Swedish) and here is a list of very common snömys you’re likely to see:

  • snowflakes[1]
  • bulk snow and icicles
  • reindeer
  • sleighs
  • Santa suits trimmed with fur[2]

They don’t actually work in Australia’s summery Christmasses so I avoid them but there’s no harm in them and they’re religion-free and hence inoffensive to all. So go ahead and ice up our summerfest with winter imagery if you think it’s cool.

[1] And snowmen. The worst Christmas of my life was the year that my brother Matthew was seven and would not stop playing “Frosty the Snowman”. Eventually, I hid the tape but then he started playing it on the recorder which was worse.

[2] Fir is also a snömy but is usually seen in pots rather than on Santas.

18 apr 2016 B.jpg


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s