Scrolling

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.

Twitter FaceBook

Pin It
23

'Jul' Touches In My Home (Thanks to The Beautiful Georg Jensen Christmas Collectibles!)




Have you started decorating for Christmas (if you celebrate, of course!)? At home it has started to feel a lot like 'Jul' thanks to the beautiful Christmas Collectibles from Georg Jensen. I've always been curious about Georg Jensen since the iconic Danish brand has played a pioneering role in Scandinavian design for over 100 years - that's a century of timeless jewellery, home decor, silver and accessories! And then I discovered the annual Christmas collection - created in collaboration with a handpicked designer. This year, designer Sanne Lund Traberg worked together with Georg Jensen to create the 2019 Christmas Collectables which are based on classic yuletide symbols of love, togetherness and tradition: hearts, stars and trees all plated in gold and palladium. I was so excited to be given the opportunity to play around with pieces from the collection in my own home, and I can safely say, they are even more beautiful in real life!



As you know, I'm never one to shy away from candles - especially at Christmas! And this isn't the first time I've put real candles on my tree (remember this one?!). I have to say, it's always equally nerve-racking! The Danes, of course, have this down. My Danish neighbour advised me (I thought it was important to seek advice!) to be very careful about where you place them so the flame is nowhere near a branch or another decoration, to never ever leave the tree unattended when the candles are lit, and always keep a bucket of sand nearby.

I have to say, there is nothing prettier than real candles - even if you only enjoy them in short bursts. The 2019 Candleholder Set includes a star and heart version which look super pretty even when the candles aren't lit!



How cosy are these 2019 Tea light heart candle holders? They're like a cosy, warm hug! Did I mention, they're also made from 18 Kt. gold plated brass? Tea lights at the ready! 



We chopped down our tree at a local sustainable Christmas tree farm again this year, and we knew as we saw this one that it had a heart made of gold - isn't this ornament pretty?



I have always loved the idea of using Christmas decorations as part of gift wrapping - and the lucky recipient can hang this pretty 2019 Christmas ornament star on their tree the following year! Any guesses what's inside?



Hard one, but I think the 2019 Christmas Bell Decoration is my favourite. It's made from 18 Kt. gold plated brass and engraved with the year. I think this would make such a beautiful present, don't you?



Usually we put our Christmas tree in this corner, but this year my English family are descending on us (super excited) - so I thought keeping the daybed / reading corner could be a nice place for people to hang out alone with a book when it all gets a bit much (you know what it can be like!). I

True to Scandinavian style, I kept the decoration super simple (especially since it's so near the tree!), using just one single 2019 Christmas ball decoration. Helen (who came and hung out with me for the day to help with the shoot), pulled this mini fir tree up at her summer cottage in Blekinge (you might recognise the name as it's where we went sailing this summer). The key with these mini trees is to keep the roots intact so they last all Christmas.



What do you think? Could you imagine treating yourself or someone you love to something from the Georg Jensen 2019 Christmas Collection? Explore the entire collection here.

I am going to a christening soon and have my eye on the 2019 Christmas Collectibles Gift Set as a present. I hope it's something the little girl can enjoy at Christmas time for many years to come!

Have a lovely day!

Niki

Photography: Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home
Styling: Helen Sturresson

This post is sponsored by Georg Jensen, however all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. 

Twitter FaceBook

Pin It
0

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

Twitter FaceBook

Pin It
7

5 Mini Christmas Tree Ideas For Small Spaces




Who says you need to have a 12 foot Christmas tree to create a festive feel? These pretty mini tree are ideas are living (some are potted!) proof that you can still have a christmas tree in the smallest of spaces, and it can look as festive as can be. Oh and they make perfect Christmas pressies / holiday gifts too!

1. Mini Spruce in a vase (above): Not only is this tree in the home of Anna Kvarnström small enough to use as a table top decoration, you can enjoy your turkey / julbord around it and avoid all the faff of a tree foot too!! God rest ye merry gentlemen! Use real candles for an extra mysig feel (but never leave unattended!). See more subtle festive touches in Anna's lovely home here.

2. The tabletop Christmas tree:  little trees are perfect perched on side tables, stools and benches in places like the hallway. The clever guys over at The Merry Thought made the wooden decorations on this tree too - and have shared all the know-how in this film.


3. The Windowsill Forest: Create a forest right there on the windowsill with fake trees in simple bark containers from Danish brand House Doctor - or create your own with simple cuts from outside (you can also try your local florist / nursery) - there's a great DIY guide here.



4. Mini Christmas tree presents: Heading to a dinner party? Why not give the host one of these little fellas instead of the standard amaryllis (although a salmon-apricot amaryllis is always a good idea!)? Simply wrap them in wax paper with a bow and you're all set. Plus the host can plant it and use it again next year -bonus! You might even like to add a few care instructions (read about how to care for a potted tree here). I wish I knew the credit for this lovely setting - please give me a shout in the comment section below if you are able to help!



5. Mini Christmas tree gift wrapping: Now, I pride myself on my present wrapping (I might even go as far as saying it's my favourite part of the pre-Christmas prep!) - but I've never seen this idea before. You just need brown wrapping paper, a christmas tree shaped cutting from a conifer tree like cypress or juniper and some glue! Get all the know-how over at A Piece of Rainbow.




Such simple, pretty ideas, don't you think?

Are there any that caught your eye?

For more inspiration you might like to take a little peek in the Christmas and Christmas decoration archives (if this pops up first, just scroll passed!).

I'll be back tomorrow with a beautiful home tour.

Look forward to seeing you then!

Niki

Twitter FaceBook

Pin It
7

A Mysig Swedish Family Home at Christmas

How pretty is this beautiful house in the suburbs of Stockholm, all decked out for Christmas? The beautiful home belongs to interior designer, photographer, storyteller and founder of Wiho Design, Jasmina Bylund who lives with her 'sambo' (live in partner) and their children - Winston (3.5) and Belle (6 months). Jasmina has decorated the house in shades of grey, white and midnight blue and a beautiful blend of old and new. "I don't follow a particular style, I simply follow my heart," Bylund explains.  Jasmina is a big fan of Christmas and loves to "gather family and friends, eat good food, bake, decorate and wrap presents." Evidence of this can be seen throughout their home - which is peppered with subtle festive touches  - including a Kungsgran tree, pretty wreaths, sprigs of pine  and paper star lanterns. No doubt there's snow outside the window too. Åh va mysigt!












Photography: Jasmina Bylund, shared with kind permission.

Oh so pretty, don't you think?

Get the look from Jasmina's home: living room - wall hanging from FROSTA design, Menu Turning Table, Hay table, seagrass belly basket. kitchen - wine glass rack. bedroom - on the wall 'Jotun Lady Happy Homes'. This natural bed linen is beautiful. sitting room - Bemz sell lovely linen slipcovers for sofas (see mine here!). The wrapping paper was sourced on Etsy.

For similar paint colours check-out the Jotun Lady range - they have so many beautiful colours (I used Blushing Peach for my bedroom). To achieve a similar textured surface seen on Jasmina's bedroom wall try adding Roll-A-Tex Sand Texture Additive to the paint (I used this in my dining room make-over and it worked wonders!)

If you'd like to see more of Jasmina's home and latest projects you must check out her lovely instagram feed and blog.

And if you're looking for more Scandinavian home tours with a festive touch - these will definitely get you in the Yuletide mood:

A Swedish country home at Christmas
A Danish home at Christmas 
A Norwegian home on Christmas eve
 Dreaming of a white Christmas in a Swedish home
A cosy Scandinavian home ready for Christmas 

If these have inspired you to rush home and decorate your own home I can recommend these beautifully simply DIY ideas:

Lovely, easy Danish Chrismtas DIY ideas
5 beautifully simple Scandinavian Christmas DIY ideas

Have a lovely day!

PS Are you still Christmas shopping (I am!)? If so this list of last minute Christmas presents for Scandinavian design lovers (and their children!) might come in handy. 

Twitter FaceBook

Pin It
5

skovby ad

 

site by Ana Degenaar

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.
MORE INFO