Welcome, once again, to my Danish Christmas Advent Calendar! Every day I’ll be giving you a little peak into how our family celebrates Christmas here in Copenhagen. Do the Danes love Christmas? Um, yes – they even use the word Christmas as a verb… Vi juler! (We are ‘christmasing’!)
So get comfy, put your feet up, grab a cup of something warm, and prepare for an avalanche of hygge!
20 December 2015
Only four sleeps to go til Danish Christmas! Woo hoo! High time to talk Christmas trees! First off, you should know that, traditionally, the Danes have ONE Christmas tree. Not one Christmas tree in the living room, one tree in the dining room, one tree in the kids room etc, etc. Like the Highlander, there can be only one! 😀
Now, where I come from (Scotland) our trees are normally plastic and these days you can even buy them with fairy lights already attached. Plug and play. Personally, I’d be quite happy with the artificial tree I bought when I worked at the ECJ in Luxembourg many moons ago. That tree has served me (and børnehave ‘creche’) well. It’s green plastic – selvfølgelig. And green in the eco-friendly-buy-once-never-buy-again way. But DDH (Dear Danish Husband) insists on The Real Thing. Despite the cost. [Ouch! Said the Canny Scot.] But, hey ho, it’s Christmas. And the only Christmas tradition he gives a (fresh or dried) fig about…
Normally we just walk down the road to our local pusher and hand over a small fortune. For something that is going to adorn our living room for approximately two weeks. [Sigh.]
Well, last year I decided to cut the crap cost and buy our tree at IKEA. Fresh, not plastic. Not quite as tall as this one, though… C’mon everyone – put your backs into it!
Along with the netting machine, they also have a nifty device for making holes in the bottom of the tree, so it can go straight into a wooden stand…
Did we select the tree in the forest ourselves and chop it down? No! But we paid half of what we normally do. And they even give you an IKEA voucher for DKR 50 (UK£5.30, US$8.40) for every tree you buy…cheap at half the price! In Denmark you leave your tree outside until about a week before Christmas then decorate with plain white lights. None of those tacky, coloured, flashing ones – it’s not the Danish way! (Though, strangely enough, our neighbours across the Sound, those silly (but lovable) Swedes really like coloured lights/moving Santas/flashing reindeers on the roof stuff.) Some of my Danish friends even do it the old-school way and use REAL candles on the tree. Yep,real candles on girls heads for Lucia, real candles on the Christmas tree. Health and Safety forgot to make a stop in Denmark! But I just don’t dare… So we just stick to electric fairy lights. And then add baubles, Danish flags, our homemade hjerter (hearts) and our homemade kræmmerhuse (cones). In olden days, the tree would be hung with edible goodies (fruit, nuts, cookies).
Time to switch on the fairy lights (yes, it’s dark here from about 3.30pm til 8.30am), sit back and admire our handiwork with a cup of warming Christmas tea. Everyone say “Ahhhhh!”…
See you tomorrow!