Every year the Swedes have their own Christmas cartoon traditions not unlike our Charlie Brown Christmas. Sweden’s cartoon, however, may be a bit jarring for American viewers with its overt political message. Sagan om Karl-Bertil Jonssons Julafton is the story of a young boy, the son of a wealthy department store owner. While working in the Stockholm post office and sorting the numerous Christmas packages the wealthy send each other, he decides the poor need them more and steals them. He then travels around Stockholm passing around these gifts. His father finds out and is furious, demanding that Karl go and apologize to everyone he stole from. Everyone thinks what he did was such a good idea they aren’t angry and his father goes from being angry to being proud.
The first time I saw it, I have to admit, I thought the message was over the top in making wealth seem dirty (of course I watched it while Mrs. TwS was translating so some of the nuance may have been lost).
Is there any alternate reality where a cartoon like this could be shown in America without mass demonstrations and manning of the battlements to defend against decadent socialism?
The story is shown every Christmas Eve. So, if you want to feel like a citizen of the world, you can spend half an hour and see what the Swedes watch as they’re getting ready for Christmas…
Here it is in three parts, dubbed in English: