7 Simple Tips for a Scandinavian Christmas
Growing up with Norwegian heritage in my family, our holidays are always celebrated the traditional Scandinavian way. This means lots of fresh greenery, homemade recipes made with fresh ingredients, and handmade Christmas ornaments. I appreciate these thoughtful gestures even more now that I bring minimalist practices into my home. Here are 7 simple tips for a Scandinavian Christmas.
1. Hang a fresh holiday wreath.
A festive holiday wreath is the first thing that greets you in a Scandinavian home. The welcoming scent of fresh pine makes you feel warm and cozy. To avoid damaging your front door, put a nail on the top edge of the door then use clear fishing wire to hang the wreath. With this little trick, you won’t damage your door with a nail and there’s no need to use a hook.
2. A simple Christmas tree with handmade ornaments.
In a Scandinavian home, the Christmas tree is decorated with simple elements from nature and festive handmade ornaments. Traditionally, we’ll hang a garland with mini Norwegian flags, red and white felted wool ornaments, and wooden elves and angels. We’ll also use sustainable methods like making garlands out of popcorn, wooden beads, and cranberries. You’ll find my minimalist handmade Christmas ornament ideas here.
3. Decorate with elements from nature.
Scandinavian Christmas decorating uses elements from nature like handmade decorations, fresh greenery, and a natural color scheme. You’ll find soft whites, raw wood, light grays, and traditional reds. I love these festive and simple decorating ideas from The Merry Thought.
4. Make sustainable handmade garlands.
My grandma used to tell me about celebrating Christmas on her family’s farm in the small town of Øyord, Norway. During Christmas one year, she got an orange as her Christmas present which was considered an exotic and rare fruit to find during Norway winters in the 1950’s. When I make sustainable garlands out of dried orange slices, I think of my grandma as a little girl, cherishing this thoughtful Christmas present.
5. Bake homemade treats from scratch.
I’ll never forget the one time that I made the mistake of bringing a boxed cake mix to my grandparents’ house over the holidays. In true Norwegian fashion, my grandma has always insisted on making everything from scratch, especially when it comes to baked goods. Scandinavian homes bake festive recipes during the winter, like gingerbread men, “ring” cakes, and Krumkaker cookies that resemble thin waffle cones.
6. Create cozy corners with candle light.
Scandinavian homes are known for creating these festive little corners filled with fresh greenery, wooden details, pine cones, and candlelight. Similar to the Danish lifestyle trend, hygge, you’ll find soft pillows, fur throws, and lots of candles in the winter.
7. Minimalist tablescapes for festive gatherings.
And of course, every Scandinavian home is centered around a festive holiday table. Norwegian tablescapes traditionally use a neutral color scheme, like a white tablecloth, candlesticks, and holiday centerpieces made of fresh greenery. My family’s Christmas dinner is always traditional and simple with a roast, turkey, potatoes, green beans, and yams. You’ll find some traditional Norwegian holiday dinner recipes here.