Christmas in Sweden 2018: A celebration in the USA by children of Swedish emmigrants
*look for the hidden words in red, items you can purhase at The Gift Box/Scandinavian Imports
Here we are it's the 1st of December, time to start decorating for the holidays. Holiday traditions around the world vary from country to country and are all so uniquely different, enriching and enhancing our own family customs. In the midwest, we are partial to European Christmas customs, whether it is German, Scandinavian or otherwise. We Scandinavians (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish or Icelandic) have a particular "cozy" Christmas. It is called lagom or stämning in Swedish, hygge in Danish, lykke in Norwegian, and Kalsarikänni or Päntsdrunk in Finnish. We sell many books on hygge, lykke, lagom and Päntsdrunk at the shop if you would like to know more. Just remember to have a God Jul and try not to get bogged down during the holiday season. Try to cross some of those things off your list and relax more!
How to decorate your house the Scandinavian way 101:
-#1, buy one or more electric candleabras, we have many varieties to choose from. Scandinavians place lights in their windows all winter long. It's not just for Christmas, let the light shine during the long winter nights.
-#2, you need to place Christmas gnomes or tomte (Swedish), nisse (Norwegian), tontuu (Finnish) all over your house, they will bring you good luck. We have them in all colors, not just red.
-#3, put up Swedish Christmas tomte paper posters up on your wall. Swedish artist Jenny Nyström (1854-1946), a portrait painter was famous for her tomte motifs.
-#4, decorate your Christmas tree with some straw ornaments. Using straw to decorate the home in Scandinavia goes back many centuries.
-#5, light an advent candleholder with advent candles, we have many varieties at the store, and a variety of candles in different shapes, sizes and colors. Use whatever you have or buy a new one. The Gift Box sells quality candles that are 100% stearin ie. kanal candles etc.
-#6, get an angel chimes and angel chimes candles, no holiday season is complete without the sound of an angel chime, enjoyed by young and old.
-#7, put on your Scandinavian sweater while you decorate your house. We have many styles to choose from in the shop from Iceland and Estonia, we are the only store in the USA who sells Dala horse sweaters and other related knitted accessories.
-#8, purchase some Swedish music CD's, we have several to choose from, the music CD that has the lucia song is poplar for those of you who celebrate Lucia Day.
-#9, you need to have a lucia figurine somewhere in your house to represent St. Lucia on the 13th of December. We sell many varieties, buy soon they will sell out fast!
-#10, wrap your presents with Swedish gift wrap, we have a large selection.
-#11, buy yourself a Scandinavian calendar to hang on your wall to remind yourself of Sweden, Norway, Denmark or Finland.
-#12, buy festive Scandinavian holiday napkins to decorate your table, we have lots of styles to choose from.
-#13, learn how to weave a paper straw, a Danish tradition. We sell the kits with instructions. We will see if we can have a demonstration in the shop in December!
-#14, make sure that you decorate your home with lots of mushrooms and hedgehogs this holiday season. You will see many varieties of things in our store.
-#15, pick up a copy of Swedish Press magazine, the December issue at The GIft Box. If you can read some Swedish that is a plus, but there is a lot in the magazine written in English. There is a great article this month about the Jul tomte. Maria wrote the "treats" section and included her mother Ingrid's favorite pancake recipe.
-#16, make sure that you read a childrens book during the holiday season whether you are an adult or a child. We have many childrens books, Elsa Beskow, Jan Brett etc. for you to give as gifts or to give to yourself.
-#17, If you can understand some Swedish or even if you can't. Google Julkalendern on SVT play on the internet or on youtube. In Sweden they have this annual advent calender every day in December on the internet to get ready for Christmas. It starts on the 1st of December all the way up to Christmas Eve. My favorite was one called
I may be adding to this list as I come across more ideas for you to really Scandinavianize your holiday celebrations. You will find ways to put together your own personal smorgasbord for your holiday parties by looking at the Julbord tab on our website. We carry lots of Scandinavian food in our shop, we can help you put it all together for
you. We love what we do, and we are always willing to help you anyway we can!
Thanks for your business and God Jul och Gott Nytt År! Tessa, Jeanne, Amanda, Maria, Hans, and Marla.
*For those of you who complete Scandinavian Decorating 101, please mention this to our experienced staff at THe GIft Box, Tessa, Jeanne, Amanda or Maria to receive a 10% off discount on purchases (no discount on food or previously reduced items in store please!)
-We will be stocking Heidi's coffee cake (cardamon etc.) and limpa bread in the store in our freezer. Ask for availability. We will be getting it weekly on Saturdays.
Maria is also working on updating our website product line. Thanks for your patience!
Photos from past Swedish Days and Good Templar park events: