A Danish Christmas

For Christmas Eve, we joined the boyfriend’s family for a traditional Danish Christmas celebration. The day started around 1pm with going to church. The church is really cute, but tiny, so the Christmas service was completely overrun and we ended up sitting on the floor! But lots of singing and some jokes later (“One guy says to another, my wife is an angel! Says the other one, lucky you, mine is still alive!), we went back to have some glögg, cookies, chocolate treats and other sweet delicacies. Around 6pm, dinner was ready – a traditional Danish Christmas dinner, the kind where you find yourself wishing you had a second and third stomach so you would never have to stop eating! Then, we all gathered around the Christmas tree and danced around it singing Christmas songs – culminating in the polonaise-type activity where people hold each others hands or shoulders and run around the entire house (this includes a visit to every room, also running over furniture is totally okay) in a long line, singing the very upbeat “Nu er det jul igen” (now it’s Christmas again), ending around the tree again, all exhausted! Then it was finally time for presents, which especially the kids were thrilled about.

Here are some impressions from a beautiful day with lots of joy, love, and of course brilliant food and tons of presents!

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Nisselandskab, a decorative landscape of Santa’s little elves

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Decorating the Christmas tree – of course the star needs to go on top!

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Some of the beautiful ornaments on the tree

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This one is filled with snacks in case you get hungry while you’re dancing around the tree!

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The decorated tree in its full glory, including some of the presents

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Traditional Danish Christmas dinner, including duck and flæskesteg (pork roast with crispy skin on top that everybody fights about), red cabbage, caramellized potatoes and dark gravy – what a feast!

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And for dessert, there’s “ris à la mande“, a sweet rice pudding with whipped cream and chopped almonds, with a cherry sauce. In addition to the chopped almonds, there is always one whole almond hidden in the pudding, and whoever finds it, gets a small gift. Since our family Christmas had many kids around, the odds were raised by adding three almonds, and guess who found one? :)

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After dinner, everybody was completely stuffed, so we took a little break on the couch while the kids found and distributed the presents from under the tree. I’ve rarely seen such a giving frenzy, we were unwrapping presents until midnight!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Eve and can enjoy another couple of festive days with your loved ones! Merry Christmas!

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