Swedish Christmas Decorating and Traditions
One of my favorite schoolgirl memories of Christmas was studying how other countries celebrate Christmas. I envisioned being a Danish child putting my wooden shoes by the fireplace instead of hanging stockings. Or dreaming of one day having a collection of colorful German nutcrackers. Participating in a Mexican Posada to mimic Mary and Joseph’s journey was something I thought would be so fun and memorable. All those dreams in my young mind added a magical element to the holidays. Today I’m focusing on Swedish Christmas decorating and traditions.
I grew up in a Swedish town which is perhaps why I remember that country the most from my childhood learning. On Christmas Eve, Swedes typically attend a church service and then return home for a smorgasbord dinner. At some point during the holiday season, our family would enjoy a buffet style dinner at Karen’s Tea Room and Smorgasbord. The restaurant was located in an older home in Geneva and I always loved going there.
Four Sundays before Christmas, Swedes light the first of four Advent candles while enjoying a mug of glogg (mulled wine).
Swedish Christmas decorating is natural and rustic. You typically won’t see a lot of bling on their trees. A simple wreath on the front door decorates the outside while greens, pine cones, and fruit decorate indoor spaces.
One of my favorite Swedish traditions is handing out presents after dark. I know children always want to unwrap their gifts as soon as they wake up, but I enjoy the anticipation of waiting until the end of the day to exchange presents. Swedes open their gifts on Christmas Eve. Night falls around 2 p.m. so the kiddos don’t have to wait too long.
Swedes like to include paper stars or flowers in their Christmas decorations. A neutral color scheme is quite common, along with a lot of candles due to much shorter days.
And finally, most Swedish decorations and traditions include the presence of a gingerbread house in the home.
I hope you enjoyed this look into Sweden’s celebration of Christmas. It leaves me wanting to visit the country during the holiday season.
More Christmas Décor for You:
Red and White Scandinavian Christmas
Christmas Decorations: 15 Ideas
Celebrating a Scandinavian Style Christmas
Love the gingerbread town. It would be such a fun project with the grands.
I always think we’ll get a gingerbread house made for the holidays and every year passes with no gingerbread house. There is still hope this year:0)
I think Sweden would be a wonderful place to visit during the holidays.
I like the simplicity of how they decorate, it is so beautiful, thanks for these beautiful ideas. Have a great week.
I love everything about this post. I am Swedish and have always wanted to visit Sweden. I love the simplicity and warmth of Swedish decor. When one of my sons was young, I dressed up as St. Lucia and read a Swedish Christmas book to his class for their grades celebration of the Festival of Lights, teaching them different holiday cultures. My husband made my crown of candles with wood (and real candles lol). It was so heavy on my head and hard to keep on. Decided best not to light the candles lol. A great memory though.
My all time favorite blog is Vibeke Design…I have pinned many Christmas photos from her site. This was a very pretty post. Next year I plan to go Swedish! I will need a gingerbread baker….😆
My all time favorite blog is Vibeke Design…I have pinned many Christmas photos from her site. This was a very pretty post. Next year I plan to go Swedish! I will need a gingerbread baker….😆 That blue/gray paint over the fireplace in the last photo is the color of our house and I also use it inside for accent colors.
P.S. sorry about the double comment.
The tree is stunning – the mix of textures really makes it look complete and interesting. Thanks for the inspiration!