Welcome to the Watching the Swedes Advent Calendar. Every day, I will open a window containing a Swedish word that has something to do with Christmas and its approaching weeks.
Today’s word is ‘Julvärd‘ which translates as Christmas host.
The term Christmas host is not referring to the religious bread that represents the body of Christ. Although you’d be forgiven for thinking so at this time of the year.
No, the Christmas host is a personality on tv who guides the viewers through the proceedings on Christmas Eve.
For 27 years the ‘julvärd’ was the same person – a man called Arne Weise – and he is, for many Swedes, eternally associated with Christmas Eve.
But since 2003, a new host is announced every year and it is considered a great honour to be given the role. This year the ‘julvärd’ is popular actor￼, comedian and singer Marianne Mörck.
While the role of ‘julvärd’ might seem trivial, it is actually very important. The Christmas host is present throughout the whole day and introduces the programs. He or she also talks about the value of Christmas and what it means. And not least, the ‘julvärd’ keeps lonely people company by inviting themselves into living rooms up and down the country.
This year’s host says in the trailer – ‘no matter who you are, where you live, or how old you are, I hope you will let me spend Christmas with you.’