My Scandinavian Christmas day 19

I’m happy to introduce day 19 of My Scandinavian Christmas, Tine Hvolby. Tine is a wonderful wedding photographer in Western Denmark and part of the new network, We Do Weddings, a network of wedding professionals in Denmark. Welcome! 

This was a welcome request from Brittany because I really got to think about what traditions are and which ones I have created myself in my little family and which ones I want for future Christmases.

Christmas is getting out the boxes of decorations and lights. It is getting a tree at the local market, baking cookies, and hanging up stockings up for the Christmas elf and waiting excitingly for what he will bring. 
It is also making the yearly family pictures of my children.

Two years ago I impulsively purchased a pair of angel wings. It was love at first sight. They were completely fantastic, feminine, large, decorated with feathers and filled with adventure. Heavenly. 
I bought them not knowing how I’d use them.
When the first snow fell that year, I took out these angel wings that had been stored unused in my office and I photographed my daughter in the atrium courtyard outside my office in the finest light, crispy and white. It was my first Christmas picture. 

This year, the snow is disappearing and Christmas is just around the corner, but we couldn’t hope for better snow and frost weather. The Christmas presents need to be done and we are so close to Christmas. The expression is different when the white light is not surrounding my daughter with the angel wings. 
Everything is thawing and raining and my daughter loves to wear the wings because she gets to have glitter in her face and play the part of an angel. It is so hyggeligt to play out pictures. It is a good tradition. As long as she wants to, we will play the game of angel and camera every Christmas.
We don’t like all the mud. So these pictures are our drafts. And we, my daughter and I, agreed that we will retake them when the snow returns right around Christmas Eve. Christmas is playtime.
I love this! “Christmas is playtime”. What a great tradition. Thank you, Tine, for participating in My Scandinavian Christmas. Check out her lovely site here.

My Scandinavian Christmas day 13

Today’s the big day! We’re off to America! We’ve got our 4 suitcases (agh!) in hand and we’re looking forward to sun sun sun in CA. Bring it ON! My Scandinavian Christmas continues on day 13 with Heidi Mickalsen of Wool Rocks, a blog about knitting. She’s originally from Norway but lives here in Copenhagen. Welcome, Heidi!
I’m so happy to be a part of the Brittany’s Scandinavian Christmas. For me a proper Scandinavian Christmas is very much homemade food and handmade decorations. I love opening my box of Christmas decorations and rediscovering my grandmas crochet table cloths, handmade ornaments and all the lovely hand knitted Christmas balls every year. This year will be a very special one as it’s the first time we’re celebrating the holiday in Norway with my little son and the first time we will be celebrating without my grandmother. 
Knitted Christmas balls are a big hit in Norway. The balls I have, are all made by my mum and from a book by Norwegian knitters Arne and Carlos (translated into 8 languages including an US version). The base pattern is simple and they have worked in elements from Norwegian faire isle knit as decorations. The book has 55 variations but you can just make your own. It does require a good demand of double pointed knitting needles as it start with 8 stitches divided on 4 needles.

I’ve found some free patterns to similar ornaments like the Arne and Carlos ones. You can find one here by Drops and this version via Ravelry.

And hopefully I’ll be adding a new one to my collection this year, perhaps even knitted by myself. 


Thank you Heidi for participating in My Scandinavian Christmas! Check out her amazing knitting blog,  Wool Rocks.

My Scandinavian Christmas day 21

I’m thrilled to announce Jennifer Hagler from the impeccable A Merry Mishap as day 21 of My Scandinavian Christmas. If you’re just joining us, My Scandinavian Christmas is a series of guest posts from my favorite Scandinavian bloggers sharing how they celebrate the holiday season. A Merry Mishap is Jennifer’s blog and shop where she sells her beautiful, geometric and Scandinavian-inspired jewelry. Welcome, Jennifer!
I wanted to share one of our Christmas traditions, something we look forward to making every Christmas morning. For the last few years I’ve made Aebelskivers for Christmas breakfast after my husband and I decided we needed to start a holiday tradition for our new little family of 3. We are not from Scandinavia but have a fondness for the culture and design so this just seemed like a natural solution.
Of course Aebelskivers are great with fruit preserves and Nutella but you can also stuff them with ham & cheese or even bacon, I love that they are so versatile. I prefer the buttermilk version of this recipe, this one works fine!

They’re easy to make and delicious but more importantly remind us that Christmas is here. I hope you give them a try, and of course you can make them any time of the year, not only in December!

Thank you, Jennifer for participating in My Scandinavian Christmas. Check out her lovely blog and shop. Check out more of My Scandinavian Christmas here.

My Scandinavian Christmas day 17

Day 17 of My Scandinavian Christmas is with one of my favorites, Jenny from Dos Family. Jenny’s a photographer in Southern Sweden and she shares her blog with Isabelle McAllister. Their blog is a fantastical little world of creativity. Welcome, Jenny!
Sara and Kristian Ingers are a super creative couple. I have photographed their home for the blog and this christmas I went back to document some of their Christmas deco. Sara and Kristian decided on an alternative nativity this year. They made the design together and then Kristan, who is a wood shop teacher at school, put it together. I love how they painted the sheep golden and added a modern goat herder.
So cool and modern. 

I LOVE this! I love when people put their own spin on an old tradition. Thank you Jenny for participating in My Scandinavian Christmas

My Scandinavian Christmas Day 7

We’re already on the 7th day of Christmas! Welcome Eva Jorgensen of Sycamore Street Press! I first met Eva at the very first Alt Summit and we had a lot in common so we’ve stayed in contact ever since. It’s been fun watching her beautiful letterpress company and cute little family grow. Eva lives in Utah (where we’re heading!) but her family is Norwegian so her work is very Scandinavian-inspired so I thought she’d be a perfect fit.

 
Growing up, our home was always full of cheerful Scandinavian decor for Christmas. My great-grandmother stitched, sewed, and wove table runners, quilts, baskets and more while my Norwegian great-grandfather did all kinds of woodworking. Every year, they’d sell their handiwork at the Christmas bazaar put on by the Norwegian Seaman’s Church, and every year, my parents would pile my siblings and I into the car to attend the event. We’d put our names down for raffles, sample the cookies, and listen to the older folks speak in their melodic native tongues. We would purchase colorful ornaments, candlesticks, and pillow covers. Once in a while, we’d get lucky and win something in the raffle. Either way, my great-grandparents would always give some of their handmade goods to us, which we would proudly display in our home. 


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE TEMPLATE

For Brittany’s “My Scandinavian Christmas” countdown, I made a couple of illustrated ornaments that you can download. Simply print them, cut them out, punch a hole in the top, thread some ribbon or string through, and hang them up. Easy! My illustrations are inspired by the ornaments I remember hanging in my home growing up. One features a traditional Swedish Dala horse, and the other reads “God Jul”, which means “Merry Christmas” in Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian. 

Thank you SO much Eva! I LOVE these ornaments and will be making mine soon! Check out the wonderful collection of Sycamore products and their blog here.

My Scandinavian Christmas day 11


Day 11 of My Scandinavian Christmas is with Julia from Vintage Hausfrau here in Denmark. Julia is a jack of all trades. She designs textiles, makes cupcakes, and loves all things vintage.

When Brittany asked me to guest blog about something Christmasy, I immediately knew what I wanted to write about: the christmas tree!
The christmas tree has always been magical for me and I’ve been collecting ornaments since I got the first home of my own. I have a special love for vintage handblown bulbs, but I collect all sorts of ornaments. I remember where each and every one is from. Since I had my son, more and more cute and funny figures have found their way into my collection instead of just the traditional bulbs.

This year our son is old enough to start remembering things we do and appreciate the magic of Christmas. Therefore traditions have become even more important and we wanted to start implementing the tradition of getting the tree ourselves not from any plain old tree seller on the corners around town, but from a place where we could search for the perfect one and cut down the tree ourselves.
Today was the day to get it, and we ignored the heavy snow and went on our way. We usually get the tree on the 1st or 2nd of advent, because I want to enjoy it as long as possible and we always go away for Christmas Eve. It was magical to wander around the plantation in the snow looking for the perfect tree!

At home we tucked our son in for his midday-sleep and I started preparing to decorate the tree. First I put on the lights, then I carefully unpack all my ornaments and put them on the table. Then I start with the bigger ones and continue till all of the ornaments are on the tree. When my son woke up, the tree was done and he was thrilled. I hope he’ll grow up with the same feelings about Christmas that I have. And still do.

 Thank you so much Julia for participating! Check out Vintage Hausfrau.

My Scandinavian Christmas Day 9

Welcome to Day 9 of My Scandinavian Christmas with Camilla Jørvad. Camilla is a wonderful wedding photographer who I have had the pleasure to get to know since I met the fine ladies of the brand spankin new, We Do Weddings, a new network of wedding professionals here in Denmark. Camilla lives in a beautiful part of Western Denmark.
I am among the few who love the Danish winter. I do not get depressed about the dark grey days that seem to go on and on. Three words that describe my holiday season is: history, ‘hygge’ and gift wrapping. 
I love candlelight, getting the fire going in our fireplace, slippers, tea… and cuddling up in the sofa with a gardening book or in front of the computer and Pinterest dreaming of the work that needs to be done in my garden next spring. Living in the country and in an old farmhouse that has been in my husband’s family for generations, I love emphasizing the history of our home. I decorate our house for christmas using vintage items from older generations of our family or newer decorations with a distinct vintage feel to them. I love using darker colors such as black and dark green in my christmas ornaments or earth tones like golden metals and hemp string. My favourite thing to decorate each year is a twisted branch from a willow in our garden. It hangs from our ceiling and is perfect for lots of tiny glass hearts and ornaments. In the wintertime we also always have a basket in our livingroom with extra woollen blankets and soft wool shoes for guests, as the floorboards here are so beautiful we can’t bear to destroy them in order to insulate the floor. We have a really old ceramic oven that was used for cooking up until just a few decades ago, that I now use for candles, it brings it back to life.

All my christmas stuff is stored safely in lovely boxes and put in a huge wooden chest at the foot of our stair case. Every year the last day of November it is like Christmas Eve going in to open all those beautiful boxes again. 
While in Uni I worked weekends and holidays in a local lifestyle boutique. The lady I worked for is loved by her customers just as much for her gift wrapping as for the beautiful things she has in her store. Customers are happy to wait the 10 minutes it often takes her to put all her love and creativity into the wrapping and decoration of each purchase. She is quite the perfectionist so she was a hard teacher but eventually I learned her methods and now several years after I can still please my family by creating packages that are gifts in themselves. 

She had a special technique that makes ugly tape obsolete, that means you never have to turn the package while putting the decorative ribbon around it, and that makes it unnecessary to hold the ribbon in place while tying the bow. I like to wrap my presents using natural recycled paper (think it makes them look old and cosy + its friendly to the environment) I always use a ribbon or string with a bit of a colour pop so it doesn’t look to ‘brown’ or boring and always finish with some sort of decorative item. This year I’ve bought some vintage-y copper hearts and stars to tie on to each package, but last year I just used small pieces of greenery from the garden. Especially the holly lasts quite long without withering. For children’s gifts I usually find something more colorful to attach to it, like for example a little elf or a tiny straw buck.

My gift wrapping mentor always used to say: “a gift should be wrapped so thoughtfully that the recepient can’t wait to open it, but that he or she also can’t bear to because it looks so beautiful it will be a shame to ruin it” 🙂
Have fun with your own gift wrapping, and a Merry Christmas from Aeroe Island 🙂

Thank you so much Camilla! And make sure to check out her lovely photography

My Scandinavian Christmas day 8

Day 8 of My Scandinavian Christmas is by Mette Kærlig Hilsen, a web designer here in Copenhagen. She is also the blogger behind Ungt Blod (Young Blood), a blog that I can only describe as really cool. She’s one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram too. 
All my life Christmas has looked like this. My family moved in to my childhood home the same year I was born and every year Christmas has looked, smelt and felt the same: Dark, warm and full of traditions. 

But last year was our last Christmas in that magical childhood home; in the spring my parents moved out of the huge house and this year I will for the first time celebrate Christmas in my own home; in our small Copenhagen apartment. I will buy my first Christmas tree, I will cook Christmas dinner for the first time and I will be responsible for creating all the special Christmas tradition that my 3-year-old daughter will come to remember.

I feel like this is one of the most grown up steps I have taken since moving out of my parents house 10 years ago. Luckily my daughter gives me a good perspective on all the pressure and stress: I am not even going to try to create the most beautiful, stylish, picture perfect Christmas. instead I will focus on the things that makes her happy: Lots of sparkles, ‘nisser’, red and white colors and simple family DIY projects – and Santa, of course. 

I love Mette’s perspective on the Christmas season and I think it’s so important not to get too caught up in being stylish or going overboard. Thank you Mette for participating in My Scandinavian Christmas! Check out Ungt Blod here.