Denmark is seriously reinventing its Christmas traditions, so If you have always wondered what it would be like to experience a refreshingly Nordic Christmas, now is the time. It only takes a few minutes to pick up your phone and call that Danish family you met on holidays or that business girl from the last business fair and get invited. A SAS or Norwegian seat is waiting with your name on it to a Scandinavian country that can offer new experiences fuelled by design.
1. The sharpest Christmas decorations
For design-conscious types, who are looking for something beyond the ususal Christmas clichés, Denmark is the best place to be to maximize your aesthetic senses and avoid traditional designs. Welcome to a universe of simple color palettes, based on black, gray, white, and pastel colours.
Modern Christmas decorations are such an obvious idea that it is surprising it has taken so long for them to become available. They are sophisticated, sustainable, and available to all budgets, from Hay to Ferm Living. For the ultimate design experience, you can find gifts so beautifully wrapped that you won’t want to open them.
2. Inner light
As the Christmas season approaches and the sun sets at 4:00 p.m., managing light at home is a high priority for us here in Denmark. Unsurprisingly, lighting is a big business, and candles and indirect lamps are found in the corners of every home. Travel to the dark north to experience light and shadow patterns that will make you not want to leave the house.
3. A taste of Nordic Christmas
Danish kitchens are one of world’s best kept secrets. Only recently have Danish people rediscovered and come to appreciate their food traditions. Bakeries, especially, have made a come back at these latitudes. Get ready for a country where making bread and cookies together with your children is the standard for any family. Bring your own julekager as a host gift to any social gathering to show your goodwill.
4. Let your children in front of the TV
Yes, you read that right, television. There are no questions about the quality of Danish TV drama. Series, such as Borgen, The Killing, or The Bridge, are popular around the world thanks to TV management not interfering in the creative process. The same is true for children’s shows. Every December, 25 episodes of quality drama run on national TV, enthralling your children with mystery, magic some Nordic mythology and real-life conflicts. Series, such as Pagten, Tidsrejsen or Absalons Hemmelighed, showcase Danish children’s television at its best.
5. Plastic free Christmas
Danes are not artificial, and this is apparent in the materials they use in their homes. Wood, leader, paper, and porcelain are basics in both home and Christmas decoration. Danish Christmases and porcelain have always gone hand-in-hand, since the time of Napoleon. Old brands, such as Royal Copenhagen, have rewritten their own histories and are no longer 80s cliches but high-end home accessories. An array of modern designers are bringing new life to the business, such a Anne Black, and adding Scandinavian touches to ceramics. Few countries can boast so many popular toys created by top designers, ready to fill the bottom of your Christmas tree with perfect gifts for younger children, including popular mid-century modern wooden toys.
6. Danish hygge around the table
When it comes to table manners, bring your best humor and conversations to the table, because you will be spending a lot of time there. Bringing people together is a national sport in Denmark, from Christmas dinners (julefrokost) with collegaes and office friends to family games like pakkelege. Nobody wants a boring dinner companion, but you don’t have to be ready with a speech, which is mandatory at other Danish gatherings.
7. Strolling in the frost
Due to climate change, we are still far from delivering a white Christmas in Denmark. However, you can expect some frost, and there is nothing stopping you from enjoying a cycle around a Danish city. For a more leisurely option, enjoy shopping at local stores while strolling through sidewalks and courtyards in a city were even department stores have an interesting edge.