There is something about Christmas that makes me feel like a kid again. It’s not the traditional allure of the season—sparkling lights, stately evergreens, or nostalgic music. Instead, it’s the steadfast traditions my proudly Norwegian family has always kept, like devoting entire days to making lefse and krumkake or attending the annual fete at the Sons of Norway (dressed in a bunad, of course).My attention is captivated by the wafting scent of freshly made lefse and the lingonberry preserves, delivering me back to the magic of Christmases past.
Traditional Lefse with Lingonberry Preserves.
Family traditions seem to mean more as we establish ourselves as adults. Isn’t that always the case? One day I realized that I was now carrying the torch of keeping my family traditions alive.
Perhaps you’re in the same spot. It’s a wonderful place to be. You have the opportunity to reinvent the holidays in a way no one else can, one that deeply reflects your heritage. This holiday, revisit your best-loved traditions and memories from childhood. Proudly display your roots. Recreate your Danish grandmother’s famous roast duck; take your great aunt to a traditional Christmas market; craft your own Advent calendar. And don’t be afraid to put your own spin on family traditions or create new ones. Here are some favorite Scandinavian ideas for inspiration.
Like a lot of Scandinavians, I love drinking Glogg . It’s perfect for wintry days when all you want to do is curl up by the fire with a warm throw and a good book.
You can put a great spin on this traditional drink by mulling it at home and exploring different flavors. Try rhubarb and cranberry ginger .
The Swedes love to celebrate darkness with light. Many families display traditional Adventljusstake, or Advent candles, in their windows. Star-shaped lanterns and straight rows of four or seven electric candles are also common, adding a warm and welcoming feel to any space.
This casually elegant candleholder by Cyan Design is a simple way to bring the Swedish celebration of light into your home.
Exercise a little artistic license in your own display of Advent candles with these antler-inspired candleholders by GO Home. Their rustic charm is perfect for a cabin getaway in the mountains.
Of all the Scandinavian traditions I observe, my favorite comes from Denmark and is one of the most fundamental aspects of Danish culture: hygge (pronounced hYOOguh). Roughly translated, it means coziness. But it’s much more than that. Hygge is the equivalent of wrapping yourself in a cashmere sweater, donning your favorite slippers, and spending all day with your best friend!
One of the easiest ways to increase the hygge in your life is by surrounding yourself with things you love. Maybe it’s the perfect table for your holiday feast or a cozy couch that will get you through the cold days of winter. For more Scandinavian-themed inspiration, check out the hand-curated Scandinavian Vibes at Pure Home.
Does your family celebrate the holidays with Scandinavian flair? Share your favorite traditions with us for a chance to be featured in a future blog post.