It’s the season of holiday traditions and beloved Christmas celebrations. At The Danish Home of Chicago, our community unites once again for a traditional favorite, Lillejuleaften, also known as Little Christmas Eve. 


During the holidays, senior living communities prepare for a season of festivities, and The Danish Home of Chicago, located in the beautiful Norwood Park neighborhood, is no stranger to community gatherings. With their historic roots and strong sense of community, they embrace the magic of the festive season with “Lillejuleaften” a tradition truly like no other.   


Anxiously anticipated throughout the year, “Lillejuleaften” (Little Christmas Eve or December 23rd) is a festive evening at The Danish Home of Chicago, where The Danish Home’s residents, their families, board members, staff, special guests, and all community members alike gather to celebrate the start of the holidays. 


“It’s a lovely tradition that I believe everyone, no matter their heritage, background, or ethnicity, can enjoy during Christmas,” says Debi Lathom, Residence Counselor at The Danish Home.  


The event kicks off with guests first participating in a church service in The Danish Home’s living room at 5:00 pm, followed by an elegant dinner at 6:00 pm of roast pork and duck with all of the delectable trimmings. For dessert, guests are treated to a delicious serving of risalamande (Danish rice pudding), which is a traditional Danish dessert served at Christmas dinner. A lighthearted game is played during dessert as guests are on the lookout for whose risalamande has a whole almond in it, for they win a Marzipan Pig as well as the gift of “good luck” for the following year. This traditional Danish dessert is made of rice pudding mixed with whipped cream, sugar, vanilla, and sometimes, chopped almonds. Risalamande is served cold with either warm or cold cherry sauce.  


Immediately following The Danish Home’s wonderful “Lillejuleaften” dinner, the “afterglow” then continues into the gathering room with delicious desserts, including kransekage (marzipan wreath cake/stacked rings of baked marzipan), along with singing and dancing around the Christmas tree. There is entertainment with Christmas carols and holiday songs, as the event comes alive with laughter and magic. The Danish Home of Chicago’s passionate and tight-knit community creates an incredible atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else.  


“I am excited to see The Danish Home’s residents, their wonderful families, and all of our friends and supporters at this annual holiday celebration,” says Linda Steffensen, The Danish Home Foundation’s Development Manager. “I am most looking forward to enjoying the festive holiday atmosphere of this special evening, spending time with all of the guests, and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. ‘Lillejuleaften’ is one of the highlights of the year for me, and I am thankful for The Danish Home staff, who work so hard behind the scenes to make this unique event happen.” 


The Danish Home of Chicago is thrilled to be once again uniting for an evening of community togetherness and magical festivities to truly embrace the holiday season. 


The Danish Home  

The Danish Home is a not-for-profit boutique senior living community at 5656 Newcastle in Norwood Park, a residential Chicago neighborhood. Independent, catered, and skilled care are offered on a private pay, rental basis. For information, contact Debi at (773) 775-7383 or visit our website at