December 9, 2016

 

Yes, holiday time is upon us. Lights are twinkling, stockings are hung and our first big snow has fallen. It is that wonderful time of year when the gift of kindness and gratitude is showered on strangers and loved ones alike. This wonderful season is cause for reflection and thankfulness.

 

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Gothenburg, Sweden at Christmastime (photo source)

 

Although the true spirit of Jultid (Christmastime) is joy, appreciation and merriment, it can also be an overwhelming time for many. There are just 17 days left until Christmas, and if you are anything like me, all that spreading of comfort and joy can sometimes be stressful and exhausting, even for the biggest holiday fan.

 

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A pakkekalender is a festive way to count down the days. (photo source)

 

 

To help, I’ve put together this Scandinavian-inspired gift giving guide to help you find the perfect little something for that Scandi-lover on your list. Take a peek, save some time, and enjoy a bit more julehygge this holiday season!

 

Books & Beverages:

Gift your warm-beverage-loving friend a jolly ‘Merry & Bright’ mug from Swedish retail giant H&M, and include the book Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break as an added treat! The recipient can savor a warm mug of coffee, gløgg, tea or cocoa while reading up on the Swedish custom of fika, the cherished twice-daily custom of slowing down, taking a break and enjoying life. (Visit our Scandinavian Gift Guide Pinterest page for more bookworm gift ideas.)

 

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A perfect gift idea (source)

 

Traditional Favorites:

An adorable Dala Horse, considered a holy animal since the time of the Vikings, is always a perfect treasure. (Read more about Dala Horse history.)

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product source

 

You can also celebrate the joys of the season with Royal Copenhagen Christmas Collectibles. Idyllic winter motifs adorn platters, plates, ornaments, figurines and cups designed by Royal Copenhagen, one of the world’s oldest companies. For more than 235 years their products have been made with not only the deepest respect for tradition, but also the highest standards of craftsmanship. Today, Royal Copenhagen is a highly distinguished brand, renowned for its exclusive quality porcelain products and its immaculate design.

 

 

 

For the Little Ones:

A Hans Christian Andersen book or set of Hans Christian Andersen stories would be a memorable gift for any child. Additionally, the unique and whimsical gifts from Danish design company Maileg, such as this adorable Princess and the Pea set, will inspire imagination in the mind of any child.

 

With its Swedish roots (and adorable story!) Hanna Andersson is a company known for high-quality children’s clothing, giving mission, and strict European standard (no harmful substances!). Not to mention, a set of family matching pajamas will make for a memorable holiday!

 

Making Sprits Bright:

It is no surprise that Scandinavian people enjoy a good drink. Just consider J-Dag, the popular unveiling of Carlsberg’s Tuborg Julebryg (Tuborg Christmas Brew) on the first Friday in November, which has become it’s own Danish pseudo-holiday.   Those Danes love a good time!

 

 

If you have someone on your list who does as well, consider a popular Danish juleøl (Christmas beer), such as the aforementioned Carlsberg, the critically acclaimed Mikkeller or To Øl. Pair it with this Dala Horse Bottle opener for an on-the-spot good time!

 

In addition, you can’t go wrong with a chilled bottle of aquavit, known as the ‘national drink’ of Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Distilled from grain or potato, aquavit is spiced with caraway and other flavors like dill, anise, fennel, coriander and cardamom, the variety of herbs and spices selected is influenced by regional cuisine – in some cases a very specific dish. Perfect host/hostess gift for that holiday dinner party as well!

 

For the History Buff:

Invite the history buff on your list to learn more about his/her own life story by tracing their heritage with genealogy courses from Family Tree University, or by utilizing DNA tools, such as 23andMe and AncestryDNA.

 

Eats:

When in doubt, bring something to eat! The Scandinavians are known for amazing pastry and sweets (they don’t call it a ‘Danish’ for nothing!). Believe it or not, you can pick up a Danish kringle at your local grocer. This wonderfully rich and tender Scandinavian flat ring pastry, with delectable filling, is a perfectly unique hostess gift.

If you fancy a go of it yourself, check out an amazing Raspberry Almond Kringle recipe from our Pinterest page and serve it on a one-of-a-kind Scandi-inspired serving platter. (Check out our Delicious Danish Delicacies and Scandinavian Gift Guide Pinterest pages for more pin-worthy recipes and ideas.)

 

 

DIY Projects

Are you a do-it-yourself enthusiast looking for a more hands-on approach to the holidays? Here are a few projects to try that will warm anyone’s heart on your list:

Traditional Danish Hearts are adorable little woven treasures that can hold a gift card or trinket, or a silly note from the tricky nisse (Danish elf) or tomte (Swedish elf). Find the tutorial here!

 

 

Fashion your own Pakkekalender (package calendar), a charming take on the advent calendar.  Visit my Pinterest page for more easy holiday DIY gift ideas that kids can make.

 

 

Gifts from the heart are the best gifts of all, so you really can’t go wrong.  Be sure to check out the Scandinavian Gift Guide Pinterest page for many, many more gift ideas and recipes!

 

 

 

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(happy shopping!)

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