Christmas Traditions We Love
I always love hearing about different holiday traditions! Some of these Christmas traditions seem like such normal things nowadays, but you may be surprised to learn where they originated!
A few years ago, I created a series called “My Scandinavian Christmas.” This series had contributors write about their traditions. You can check out all of the posts here. I’ve included some Scandinavian traditions below as well as traditions from other countries!
Learn the traditions of your family members
As Christmas is a time to gather with family and loved ones, it is also a special time to remember our ancestors. For our Heirloom Ornament Project I collected some photos of my family members, including great-grandparents, parents. Then we figured out an awesome way to transfer images onto fabric, then added a touch of love with embroidery, and turned them into ornaments! I absolutely love how they turned out. It’s literally a family tree! And a family Christmas tree at that!
Every year these ornaments start the best conversations about memories of our family members and Christmases past. Click here to download instructions on how to make your own!
Christmas Traditions in Germany
Many people all over the world decorate Christmas trees for the holiday season. The tradition of bringing decorated trees into the home originated in Germany! It was said that Christmas trees didn’t become popular in the U.S. until the 1800s, but now they’re a Christmas staple in many homes!
Whether you want a more traditionally decorated tree or opt for decorations out of the ordinary, we’ve curated all kinds of Christmas tree inspiration! Check out some of our favorite Christmas tree ideas here!
Dresden Ornament wreaths were originally made out of old candy molds or ornaments in Germany beginning in the late 1800’s. The brass figurines represent seasons and holidays throughout the year, making it a piece you can keep up all the time. There is space in between the trinkets so you can weave garlands, florals, or lights in it depending on the time of year. I love the stunning quality of it just as is.
They happen to cost a pretty penny, so we decided to make our own Paper Dresden Ornament Wreath (of course!) We created the files you can use on your craft cutter machine to expedite the process or you can hand cut them, because we know shopping, baking, and decorating are in full swing!
Christmas Traditions in Norway
St Lucia’s Day
If you’ve been following the blog, you know my love for all things Scandinavian. In the tradition of St. Lucia or St. Lucy’s Day, celebrated on the 13th of December, a procession of girls in white dresses and red sashes (symbolizing Saint Lucia) carry candles and sweets. The lead girl wears a candlelit crown on her head, as this is what Saint Lucia wore to light her way and serve the persecuted Christians.
We’ve created a couple of different St. Lucia crown tutorials here at Lars. You can view our classic DIY candle and leaf crown here. If you’re looking for something a bit easier and kid-friendly, you can get the printable crown version here.
Christmas Traditions in England
Christmas Crackers originate from British Christmas traditions, where these individual candy-filled poppers are set at each place at the dinner table, and playfully popped open before dinner. Fill these up with all of your favorite goodies for all of your favorite friends and make the giving experience all that much more fun when you pop these bad boys open to find anything from treats to tiny trinkets, the options are endless!
Christmas Traditions in Sweden
A couple of years ago, we made Christmas decorations created entirely from paper. We incorporated traditional Swedish Christmas decor. This included straw ornaments, Dala horses, and advent stars. You can take a look at our head to toe Swedish Christmas here.
If you are any bit familiar with The House That Lars Built, or you’re good at reading in between the lines, we are a design company with a strong adoration for Scandinavian aesthetic. I went to design school in Copenhagen, married a Dane, and continued to live there until 2014. There is just something about Scandinavian design, culture, and lifestyle that I can’t quit. One item of Swedish culture I fell in love with are the Dala Horses!
The Dala Horse (or Dala Häst as it’s pronounced in Swedish) is a traditional icon of Sweden. It’s a carved and painted wooden horse, most commonly red, with intricate hand-painted details. They are utterly charming and come in a rainbow of colors. Because we’re such big fans, we decided it was high-time we created a DIY Dala Horse. You can also find our tutorial on how to paint your own traditional dala horse here.
Candles on Christmas Trees
It’s a very common Scandinavian tradition to decorate your tree with candles. However to avoid any fire hazards, we made this Paper Candle Christmas Tree Ornament instead. All you need is small baking liners, paper, and glitter and you’ll have a tree all aglow in no time!
Christmas Traditions in Mexico
Poinsettias are one of the most common flowers around the Christmas holiday. The origin of these flowers comes from Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico. The flowers became a Christmas holiday staple due to their (typically) red and green colors. A few years ago, we created a tutorial for how to make your own paper poinsettia flowers for a more long lasting and sustainable version! You can read the full instructions here.
Piñatas are now widely used for birthdays and other celebrations, but Mexico celebrates the Christmas holiday with piñatas! Traditionally, the piñata is in the shape of a 7-point star, like these. We’ve got fun piñata tutorials for you here at Lars, including this sunshine piñata and post-it heart piñata!
Christmas Traditions in Denmark
These magical stars have are a common sight during the Christmas season in Scandinavian countries and have recently gained popularity in the United States and Canada. Traditionally hung in the window and filled with string lights, the stars would welcome visitors during the long and dark winters. Click here to see how to make your own!
Christmas Traditions in Finland
Himmeli are Finnish Christmas ornaments or mobiles, typically made from straw. We created a post about Himmeli geometric home decor a few years ago. Most importantly, these mobiles can be hung during any time of the year! The design ideas for this are endless. In the ‘My Scandinavian Christmas’ series, we talked with Rilla of the blog Kotipalapeli about Himmeli mobiles. You can find the original post here. We also included another post with Pinja of Pinjacolada on Himmeli Christmas tree garlands.
What are the Christmas Traditions where you’re from? I would love to hear below!