My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar – 18 December (Counting stars)

Welcome back to My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar!  Join me every day in opening a new door.  Once again, I’ve got a host of goodies to share with you – traditional Danish Christmas recipes, traditions, songs, games, decorations, crafts and landscapes…  So sit back, relax and enjoy!

18 DECEMBER

Is there a Christmas decoration that hangs in every window in your corner of the world?  Around these parts it used to be this retro classic – we ‘inherited’ this one from the previous owners of our Swedish summer house and I love it – pure Christmas kitsch! 🙂

But now there’s a new Sheriff in town…complete with a star – Julestjernen!

Yep, those stars seem to be hanging in every Danish shop window and home right now…

And you know they’ve gone viral when supermarkets and discount stores start selling them.

Julestjernen (“Christmas star”) is, co-incidentally, also the Danish name for the poinsettia…

I also spotted these in the shop windows…paper stars – another obsession of those crazy (but lovable) Danes!

If you want to try your hand at making some yourself, buy the long, thin strips of paper ready cut at hobby stores and bookshops.  Precision is key!

But I’m warning you, they’re very tricky and mind-boggingly time-consuming to make – I don’t think I’ll ever master them.  Normally I give up and turn them into musetrapper (“mouse steps”) instead… ! 😛

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Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow when we open the next door!

Diane :)


My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar – 10 December (Cards and post)

Welcome to My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar!  Join me every day in opening a new door.  Once again, I’ve got a host of goodies to share with you – traditional Danish Christmas recipes, traditions, songs, games, decorations, crafts and landscapes…  So sit back, relax and enjoy!

10 DECEMBER

I got an e-mail from my mentor, the Flylady, yesterday morning, reminding me tocheck my Christmas lists twice 😉 and finish off those jobs that I’ve been procrastinating over. So today I got the last of the Christmas cards written, stamps on and they’re ready to pop in the postbox.

I always send one of the PostDanmark (the Danish postal service) special Christmas cards to my family and friends in Scotland.  Not cheap (at around DKR 39.95, UK£4.25, USD 6.50 ) but always a talking point.  And, more often than not, a building exercise!

They come in a cellophane packet.  Exhibit A.

And when you open the packet, it all comes spilling out.  Exhibit B.

And they always require (some fiddly) assembly by the recipient.  This year’s one, as I hope you can see, contains an envelope, a 3-D Christmas tree, a ‘tree mat’ (this is the ‘card’ where you can write a seasonal greeting or perhaps a “good luck with building!”) and eight (count ’em) small boxes which will be the ‘gifts’ under the tree.  Cute or kitsch, you decide! 😛

xmastree

Just remember to post your cards in good time (last posting dates are here).  Especially if, like me, the price of Danish stamps makes you reach for the smelling salts and you therefore send everything B-post (second class).

Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow when we open the next door!

Diane :)


If you can't stand the heat in the Danish kitchen…

Y’all know that I ♥ Denmark and those crazy (but lovable) Danes.  But I can’t help feeling that they got the wrong end of the stick (or should that be hot poker?) when it comes to designing items for removing hot dishes from hot ovens.

I mean, really, why do the Danish public continue to put up with (totally impractical) grydelapper (‘pot holders’)?  And, by the way, our neighbours – those silly (but lovable) Swedes – are just as bad.  Yes, grydelapper come in all forms and materials…cotton, rubber, silicone. All equally useless and dang fiddly to use! 😛

And let’s not forget the ‘crocheted-classic-do-it-yourself-Christmas-gift’ version of the grydelappe.  Hiding at the back of the kitchen drawer or the bottom of the Christmas ornaments box…

The only other choice in Denmark is the single, (lonely) unattached grillhandske (oven glove/mitt).  A step up from the grydelappe, but just as awkward to handle.

So where, oh, where is my true love?  There can be only one!  The double oven glove! Please let me know if you find any in Denmark.  My Mum and Dad in Scotland have been bringing double oven gloves over in their suitcase for me, for the past 16 years… ♥

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Diane 🙂

 

 


My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar – 17 December

Welcome to My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar!  Join me every day in opening a new door.  Just like last year, I’ve got a host of goodies to share with you – traditional Danish Christmas recipes, traditions, songs, games, decorations, crafts and landscapes… So sit back, relax and enjoy!

17 DECEMBER

Okay, this is going to be a loooooooong post.  So go grab a cup of tea, or gløgg, and get ready to relax for a few minutes with your feet up! 😛

If you saw yesterday’s post, you’ll know that I was in Copenhagen on Wednesday, soaking up the Christmas atmosphere.  All very hyggelig!  Just don’t take your kids into the nearest department store and expect to have a photo taken with Santa – because that doesn’t exist here.  For that, you’ll need to go to Tivoli.  Pay the entrance fee.  Then fork out again for the picture!  Then again, you can just go to Tivoli and take your own photos… 😉

 

But there are a couple of ‘outings’ that make up a Danish Christmas…

First of all, a visit to a julestue or Christmas bazaar.  Which come in all shapes and forms.  From weekend charity events at your school, to local Scout groups selling homemade decorations and Christmas trees, to fleamarket style markets with professional vendors.

And then there are full-blown exhibitions by designers like Jette Frölich.  She started in 1966 and has basically devoted her life to designing Christmas ornaments!  (I’ve been going to her exhibtions since I arrived here waaaay back in 1998.)  The Grand Old Lady is often around at the exhibition – here she is, with the white shirt on the right…

Entrance is free.  But have plenty of money ready if you actually want to buy ornaments because – although a lot of them are made of paper – they don’t come cheap!  Here are a few other pictures I took this year.  Starting with golden decorations from a previous collection.

And moving on through this year’s colours of white, silver and pale pink…

And if you’re in the centre of Copenhagen, then there are the famous Royal Tables at Royal Copenhagen (in their flagship store, right on Strøget, the pededstrian shopping street).  Every year Royal Copenhagen invites eight or so architects, chefs, designers or actors to decorate tables.  Using their choice of china, cutlery, glass etc.  It’s a real outing for all the old ladies and gents of Copenhagen.  Yep, at some points during the afternoon, you have to queue up to be able to get a look!  Though don’t expect anything very ‘Christmassy’…

If you’re a Dr Who fan, this one will probably creep you out…  Don’t blink! 😉

Complete with church windows?

Paintbrushes, anyone?!

And, last but not least, selvfølgelig, the ubiquitious Nordic-thing-going-on-complete-with-animal-skins-old-bits-of-wood-and-anything-we-can-find-lying-about-in-the-forest decorated table…

Hmmmm, time to drink up and go foraging in the woods?

Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow when we open the next door!

Diane 🙂