It’s that time again! And I can’t believe how quickly it has come around. The kids are excited, the streets are beautifully decorated with Christmas lights and the gardens are covered with white frost in the mornings. Personally, I don’t see how anyone would want to escape a Christmas at home and I think this is the most exciting time of the year. Having grown up in Sweden and at least having spent 20 Christmases in my family home back there, I still feel like a kid already from November.
I still light candles everywhere in my house which is a big important part of the Scandinavian winter. It gets dark very early in Sweden and already at 3pm the whole city of Stockholm is covered in darkness, a fact most people would find hard. However, when I grew up and contrary to now the landscape was completely covered with at least a meter of snow all through the winter. This white stunning blanket of snow helped brighten up the surroundings and somehow it gave it a nice magical light. Sadly, it is rare to see snow in Stockholm now, but further up north it should be “safe”. I say safe as I absolutely LOVE snow and the brightness it brings. Instead, I light candles now to combat the darkness in the afternoon and evenings. I am in love with the Saffron & Ginger candle from Lilou et Loic as it reminds me of the traditional saffron buns and the gingerbread cookies we Swedes are so obsessed about. We bake straight through December and eat them – far too quickly – with Mulled wine (also with the ingredients of saffron and ginger). Candles are such a winter warmer and as your candle burns down you can see the flickering light through the transparent logo on the silver jar.
We do take Christmas quite seriously in my home country. Already the 1st of December we start Advent, a tradition where we light a tall thin candle every week and finally it ends up, almost as an image of a ladder, in different sizes as they burn straight down one by one. This symbolizes the sequence of the 4 weeks of Advent.
On the 13th we celebrate “Santa Lucia”, a very old Swedish tradition where girls and boys are all walking, lined up in white, with candles in their hair and in their hands. They visit others, surprising and wakening them with beautiful singing early in the morning, bringing saffron buns and gingerbread. Our Swedish Christmas is on the 24th of December, Christmas Eve, like elsewhere in Europe. The traditional Christmas table consists of smorgasbord (a selection of sandwiches and finger food), ham, pork or fish.
The 25th of December for us is a very quiet day, full of reflection and relaxation, very necessary and well deserved after the busy run up to Christmas where we seem to totally exhaust ourselves with both preparation and excitement.
Malin Wright – Creative Director