A Swedish Christmas; a husband's view
Story and photos by My Scandinavian Home.
How do you celebrate Christmas? Since moving to Sweden (16 years ago – how crazy is that?!) – we try to have two celebrations – one in Sweden on the 23rd and one in England on the 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 – strangely, a very Swedish tradition! For my final post of the year as part of my partnership with 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 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 jularfram – 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 (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!
The TRÆ (tree) scented candle is a wonderful reflection of the bright, fresh scent of the forest!
How do you decorate your home for Christmas? I’m married to an interior-crazy women 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.
How do you celebrate Christmas Eve? When we arrive, 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! – before tucking into a Julbord (Christmas smorgasbord).
The SNÖ (snow) scented candle, with a fresh, crisp and icily dry scent infused with a hint of winter berries and frozen timber wood.
Read the rest of Niki and her families’ Christmas rituals on her blog here
and get a discount code for our seasonal collection in the end of the post.
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