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Merry Christmas!


Stopping by to wish you  a very merry Christmas!

I'll be taking some downtime with my family and will be back here again on 7th January, 2020. I hope you have a relaxing few weeks too!

Thank you again for a wonderful year!

Here's to the next one!

Niki xxx

PS I couldn't resist sharing this pic of Allie from a few Christmas's ago, it'll always be a favourite of mine! 

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Lovely Christmas Touches In A Calm Berlin Home

Friday friends, FRIDAY! And it's a special one in Sweden today: as we're celebrating Lucia. Alongside midsummer, the Lucia celebrations is one of my favourite. In case you're not familiar with the concept, Lucia is an ancient mythical figure and a bearer of light in the dark Swedish winters. This morning parents across the country (myself included) waited in the dark, cameras at the ready, while our children participated in a special Lucia procession - wearing candles in their hair (gingerbread men, 'tomten' (Father Christmas) and other characters were also involved!). It's a sight to behold! White must be on my mind - as I was immediately drawn to Katharina's beautiful home in Berlin, Germany this morning. Katharina sells beautiful homeware pieces through her online shop Edel Weiss. Many of the pieces she sells can be spotted in her home, and jostle for position with a fab array of  Scandinavian design lamps and cultural objects. Look out for the pretty festive touches too! Enjoy the tour! 

Print from wall of art, IKEA Nockeby sofa with a Bemz Belgian linen cover in soft white*. Z1 lampCuba chair

"This year I have decorated a lot with paper stars and natural materials. There are also candles and small lights everywhere."

Woodland trees from Arboretum


Eve II limestone sculptureKizu table lamp, try the 'Snö' candle by Skandinavisk - smells divine! (20% off with code nikijul20 until 16th December too). 

"This year, our tree will be decorated with white Christmas baubles and pendants made of paper." 



What a beautiful apartment! 

I love the wooden trees - I've just been over at the Arboretum site, they sell such a great selection too (got my eye on the forest!). 

Is there anything that stood out to you about Katharina's home?

If you live in Germany, check out Katharina's shop, it's full of beautiful pieces! 

Right folks. That's it from me for the week! If you're looking for Christmas inspiration over the weekend, have a delve through the Christmas and Christmas decorations archives. 

I'm heading to London today to see my sisters and parents - ALL BY MYSELF! Luxury

I hope you have a fabulous weekend! 

Niki 

PS If you want to give someone the gift of a home that smells like a Scandinavian Christmas, don't forget to make the most of the 20% discount on seasonal candles from Skandinavisk with code nikijul20.

Photography by Katharina and shared with kind permission
*Affiliate links

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Dreaming of a White Christmas in Sandra's Serene Home

Some people love to go all out at Christmas, while others prefer a more pared-back approach. If you fall into the latter camp, I think you're going to enjoy the festive touches in Sandra's minimalist apartment in Hanover, Germany (remember this tour?!). Think subtle bunches of eucalyptus, olive and amaryllis, candles, and white paper stars and Christmas ornaments against a serene white and light wood backdrop. I had a brief chat with Sandra to find out more! 

What is important to you when it comes to decorating for the season?
As you may recognise, I appreciate simplicity and clear structures around me - and, although I really love to follow the seasons with my home decor, the basic feel of the home remains constant.

When do you start adding festive touches to your home?
I see more and more people getting festive in November. But, for me it makes it even more special to wait until the First Sunday of Advent - when the countdown officially begins! 


What's your philosophy when it comes to Christmas decorating?
I think simplicity is key - 'less is more'. I have an overall focus on natural elements like wood, flowers and of course a lot of greenery like fir, eucalyptus and olive. The result is a minimalist, natural but also refined look. 


Do you have anything new in your home this season?
This Christmas, I found a huge Scandinavian paper star, (more info here!) that will spread some Christmas cheer in our living room. 

Thank you for inviting us inside your beautiful, festive home Sandra! 

I think Pauline and Jo, Sandra's dogs are enjoying their Christmassy home, don't you? 

Is there anything that stood out to you?

I guess you know what's coming (you know I can never resist!) - yes, links to more Scandinavian Christmas decoration inspiration of course!! Here goes: 

Our Swedish Christmas from Per's perspective (don't miss the 20% discount off Skandinavisk seasonal candles with code nikijul20 - valid until 16th December). 

Altogether now, "deck the halls with boughs of um, eucalyptus...!"

Incidentally, I have one whole week of blogging left before Christmas - is there anything you'd love to see? Give me a shout in the comment section below and I'll do my best to cover it! 

Niki

Photography: Sandra / @Karlas_view shared with kind permission

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A Colourful, Vintage Inspired Danish Home At Christmas

Go'morgon! How was your weekend? We had a birthday girl in the house (me!) and my sister came over from London to celebrate, it was so much fun! I have to admit I'm feeling a little ropey this morning. But, the cheerful Danish home of Louise, blogger behind Mor till Mernee, her partner and two children Merle and Neel never fails to put a smile on my face, especially at Christmas time! Decked out with multiple trees adorned with brightly coloured vintage decorations, homemade advent calendars, fairy lights and other festive touches, it's fun, personal and cosy! I caught up with Louise to find out a little more about Christmas in Jutland! 

I love how you have decorated your home - it looks so festive!
It's my favourite time of the year, except for the weather - in Denmark it's so rainy in December and I don't love that! But I love Christmas, the decorations, the tree, the time spent together. 

Look at that pup! Adorable! 

Every December I think "this year I'm going to really enjoy the run-up - baking with my family etc and then things just get crazy, do you find the same?
Christmas is always such a busy time, but every year we really try to take the time to just be. When the school holidays start next week, we'll be spending lots of time together as a family just doing nothing. 

I love the sound of that Louise! Your decorations are so pretty and unique, where did you find them? 
My decorations are very dear to me. Some are from my childhood; others are from my grandparents and some are bought vintage. I love vintage Christmas decorations, every year I by a new second-hand piece.


I love the trees in your house, can you tell us a little more about the ornaments? 
We decorate our trees with vintage pieces and also pieces that have been made by the children. They are a joy to unpack every year.  

Do you have a favourite tradition?
Every year, we head to the woods in the first weekend of December to pick our favourite tree and take it home. This way, we have a tree in our living room throughout December. The tree is the best decor ever, so why not have it the whole month? We love that! 


Oh, so pretty! 

Has this brightened up your Monday too?

You can also see a full tour of Louise's home (not at Christmas!) here and keep up to date with her latest updates on her blog and instagram

Etsy is a great source for vintage Christmas ornaments* (in case you're feeling inspired to pick up some of your own!). 

Up for a little more Danish inspiration today? Hop on over to the Danish home archive

Have a great start to the week friends!

Niki

PS I loved reading all your comments about your Christmas traditions (and your thoughts about Swedish ones) on Friday! Don't forget that you can get 20% off the seasonal collection at Skandinavisk with the code nikijul20 until 16th December - such a bargain and their candles smell divine! 

Photography: Louise / Mor till Mernee - shared with kind permission.
*Affiliate link

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Our Swedish Christmas - From Per's Perspective!











How do you celebrate Christmas? Since moving to Sweden (16 years ago - how crazy is that?!) - we usually have two celebrations - one in Sweden on 23rd and one in England on 25th. But this year, the entire English clan is coming to Sweden, so Per and the girls finally get to watch Kalle Anke (Donald Duck) at 3pm on Christmas Eve (a very Swedish tradition!). For my final post of the year with partner Skandinavisk - who tell the story of the Scandinavian Christmas / Winter through a collection of heavenly fragrances (discount at end of post!) - I thought I'd interview my husband Per about his thoughts on Swedish Christmas, and some of the traditions he loves the most!



When does Christmas begin for you?
The First Sunday of Advent - this is when we traditionally jular fram - start to put up Christmas decorations, play Christmas music etc.

What do you love most about this time of year? 
It gets very cold and dark as we near the winter solstice and Swedes tend to gravitate indoors. Christmas gives us a perfect excuse to hang out with friends over a glögg (spiced mulled wine) and pepparkaka (gingersnaps)!

What are your favourite family traditions? 
Every year we head out to the woods to chop down our tree. When I was at school, parents would organise a class trip and we'd all go out together and make a big event out of it. These days I love to continue this tradition with my family. In Sweden we're known for being fairly calm and democratic - but when we choose a tree, we can become pretty feisty! There are a lot of strong opinions about how a Christmas tree should look!




How do you decorate your home for Christmas?
I'm married to an interior-crazy woman so I don't get too much of a say these days (Editor's note: he so does) - but there are a few things that are important to me. I like to put traditional 7-arm candelabras and paper stars in the window. I also like the Christmas decorations to be cosy but not over the top - us Swedes don't tend to go all-in - for example, you rarely see colourful flashing Christmas tree lights or a Father Christmas and his sleigh on the roof!

What fragrances do you associate with Christmas?
The fresh scent of pine, orange, cloves, smoke from a crackling log fire, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom all remind me of Christmas. 

JUL (Christmas) scented candle with bold notes of baked gingerbread, melted honey, cloves and warm glögg. 

Where do you spend Christmas? 
We celebrate Christmas on Julafton (Christmas Eve) in Sweden. We have a big family gathering at my Father's house, which is in a fishing village further up the coast. Around midday, we all meet at a 'kalbadhus' (sauna pier) by the sea. The sauna is a great way to kick off the Christmas Eve celebrations as there's something really cleansing about heating up in a sauna and hopping in the cold sea - it really raises your spirits! We usually enjoy a few Christmas beers in the sauna too - just for good measure! 

The TRÆ (tree) scented candle is a wonderful reflection of the bright, fresh scent of the forest! 



How do you celebrate Christmas Eve?
When we arrive at my Father's, candlelit lanterns line the snowy pathway up to the door and a nice, warm mug of homemade glögg (spiced mulled wine) with almond and raisins awaits! At 3pm we all settle down to watch the 1958 Walt Disney film, From All of Us To All of You, affectionately referred to as Kalle Anke (Donald Duck) - even though we all know it off by heart! And then we tuck into a traditional Julbord (Christmas smorgasbord).

SNÖ (snow) scented candle with a fresh, crisp and icily dry scent infused with a hint of winter berries and frozen timber wood. 





Ah yes, the julbord! Can you tell us a little more about what this involves? 
It's a smorgasbord made up of different types of meat, fish and vegetable dishes. The fish part is my favourite - it includes different types of pickled herring (marinated by my stepmother), an assortment of salmon (warm smoked, cold smoked, gravlax etc.) prawns, and other delicacies! Our julbord also includes the traditional ham, sausages, green and brown cabbage, Jansson's Temptation (a potato dish with anchovies), meatballs and many, many other things! We all bring something with us so that no one is burdened with doing everything (we all have our own specialities - I'm on meatball duty!).

We accompany the julbord with Christmas beer (for the adults) and Julmust (for the kids - basically an adapted Christmas Coca-Cola). We also enjoy my Father's home-flavoured wormwood schnapps along with Christmas songs! In Sweden, we don't drink wine with the julbord but I've noticed my wife always sneaks in a glass or two!



When do you exchange presents?
In our family we only give presents to the children. They all stand at the window waiting for Tomten (Father Christmas) who appears in the garden with a lantern and a sack over his shoulder. It's met with squeals of delight and the children race to the door to greet him - it's such a wonderful sight! He asks "finns där några snälla barn?" (are there any good children here?). Unfortunately, I always tend to miss this moment as I've 'popped out' for an untimely errand ;).

What do you miss most when you spend Christmas in London? 
I take a lot of the traditions with me in my suitcase - including some of the julbord specialities and song sheets, so I can feel at home! I love the crackers (we don't have them in Sweden) the stockings are also fun, but I do think it's a shame that the rest of the world don't get to meet Tomten!

When do you take Christmas decorations down in Sweden?
We have a saying: tjugondag Knut dansas julen ut (on the twentieth day Knut, Christmas dances out). In other words, all our Christmas decorations are taken down on 13th January. This always stresses my wife as it's said to be unlucky to leave decorations up after Twelfth night (6th January!) in England!




Thank you PP! You've got me dreaming about Christmas Eve now - and that glass of wine with my julbord ;). In the meantime, we've got some Christmas shopping to do (I noticed that was included in your favourite traditions!). 

Speaking of which - if you feel like giving someone the gift of a home filled with the heavenly scent of the Scandinavian Christmas / winter, Skandinavisk are offering My Scandinavian Home readers 20% off the JUL (Christmas) scented candle and mini scented candle, TRÆ (tree) scented candle and mini scented candle, SNÖ (snow) scented candle and mini scented candle, NORDLYS (Aurora Borealis) scented candle and mini scented candle, ÖNSKA special edition giftset and the NORDEN mini giftset! To claim your 20% discount type in nikijul20 at checkout (note the small caps!) - valid until 16th December, 2019. Find out which countries they ship to here

I hope you enjoyed hearing Per tell a little more about our Swedish family Christmas - is there anything that stood out to you? Do you have any similarities in your country? I'd love to hear more about how you celebrate Christmas (or the holidays in general!). 

Have a cosy weekend friends!

Niki

PS I'll be back on Monday with a magical danish home decorated for Christmas - oh, and it involves a little colour too! Make sure you pop back! 

This was part of a paid partnership with Skandinavisk. All words and pictures are my own and I only ever work with brands that I love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible.

Photos by me. Interior pictures of my home styled by Helen Sturesson.

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