If there’s one thing (actually, there’s quite a few things) that they do well in Scandinavia, it’s Christmas, or Jultid. Maybe it’s the long nights and cold weather that makes them crave colour and comfort at this time of year, or maybe it’s just the fact that they have a great eye for shapes and colours, but Christmas is when the Nordic spirit really shines.
If you want to bring some Jultid feeling into your home this Christmas, it’s quite easy to do and you don’t even have to turn the aircon down to minus 10C (although if you’re really committed…). All you have to do is a bit of clever dressing.
Bust out the candles
Nothing says Scandinavian winter like a candle flickering behind a window, especially if it’s in a sparkly glass holder. Holders that can carry several lights at once are especially effective and if you can arrange a few outside, you can make the most of the warm nights.
Ditch the sparkly tinsel and use muted Christmas decorations
Vivid green and red, with white is the Nordic Christmas prescription. It speaks of snow, holly berries and pine trees. Just use fabrics rather than glitter or tinsel to achieve this colour scheme. If you can lay your hand on red and white embroidered decorations, or some felted figurines, you’re golden!
Pine trees are a must, so if you can get one, or even some branches, then you can make some traditional Nordic decorations – wreath shapes, stars, human and animal figures – all add to the atmosphere.
Serve some simple food
You could have a Swedish-style smorgasbord, or, more correctly, a Julbord on Christmas Eve or on Boxing Day. Serve roast salmon, beetroot salad, cold potatoes with dill, rice pudding and lingonberry sauce, boiled eggs and red cabbage. For authenticity, hide an almond in the rice pudding; the finder gets a small prize as well as good luck in the next year!