Sagan om Karl-Bertil Jonssons julafton

Sagan om Karl-Bertil Jonssons julafton (lit., "The Tale of Karl-Bertil Jonsson's Christmas Eve") (Christopher's Christmas Mission) is a 1975 Swedish animated short film directed by Per Åhlin, adapted from Tage Danielsson's short story of the same name, telling the tale of a boy who steals Christmas gifts from the wealthy to give to the poor people of Stockholm while working in a post office on Christmas Eve.[1] The short story is also published in English with drawings by Per Åhlin by Trollboken AB 2018. The film has gained huge popularity in Sweden, and is broadcast every Christmas Eve on Swedish and Norwegian national television. It is also often shown on Christmas Eve by FST in Finland.

Sagan om Karl-Bertil Jonssons julafton
Written byTage Danielsson
Directed byPer Åhlin
StarringTage Danielsson
Per Andrén
Toivo Pawlo
Marianne Stjernqvist
Åke Fridell
Catrin Westerlund
Narrated byTage Danielsson
Country of originSweden
Original languageSwedish
ProducersLance H. Robbins
Cheryl Saban
CinematographyThomas L. Callaway
Running time23 minutes
DistributorPennfilm Studio
Original networkTV1
Original release
  • 24 December 1975 (1975-12-24) (Sweden)

The film was dubbed into English in 1987, with Bernard Cribbins as the voice-over.


14-year-old Karl-Bertil Jonsson lives with his father Tyko and his mother Mrs Jonsson. Karl-Bertil works at the Swedish postal service, sorting and delivering items. One Christmas Eve, Karl-Bertil, who highly adores Robin Hood, secretly decides to sort Christmas presents addressed to rich people into a separate bag and instead deliver them to many different poor people. After being asked by Mrs Jonsson about a porcelain plate meant for Tyko that had been delivered to another family, he decides to be open and honest to his parents about what he has done. This makes Mrs Jonsson cry and makes Tyko seriously upset at him for what he has done, calling him a communist and sending him to bed early that night. The next day Tyko forces Karl-Bertil to visit every person whose presents he had misdelivered to apologise. When he and Tyko visit these rich people the following day, they are met with positive reactions from everyone. Karl-Bertil is eventually celebrated as a hero by the various negatively-affected people by being tossed into the air in the midst of cries of ”hip hip hooray”. The short film ends with Tyko proclaiming Karl-Bertil a good person.



A Swedish debate about the tale's moral nature has sparked every few years ever since SVT started broadcasting it annually, with critics arguing that it is too political and that stealing is not really on par with the traditional Christmas spirit and others defending it.[2][3][4] Danielsson himself was embarrassed by too serious analysis of the tale.[4]


  1. Crump, William D. (2019). Happy Holidays—Animated! A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Cartoons on Television and Film. McFarland & Co. p. 70. ISBN 9781476672939.
  2. Stymne, Joakim (14 December 2005). "Tyko Jonssons julafton" [Tyko Jonsson's Christmas eve] (in Swedish). Svenska Dagbladet. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
  3. Skarin, Anna (25 December 2008). "Blondinbella: Karl-Bertil Jonsson är dåtidens AFA" [Blondinbella (lit., "Blondie Bella"): Karl-Bertil Jonsson is the AFA of the time] (in Swedish). Expressen. Archived from the original on 28 December 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
  4. Flakierski, Gregor (18 December 2008). "Den alternativa julens Kalle Anka" [The alternative Christmas's Donald Duck] (in Swedish). Flamman. Retrieved 11 June 2009.