It’s Christmas Eve, everyone! And I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am!
Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. Every year, I look forward to spending time with my family, eating amazing food, drinking mulled wine, and exchanging presents. During the last years, I’ve added some new traditions with my Danish in-laws, such as dancing around the Christmas tree.
I thought I’d share some of my favorite Christmas traditions with you, to let you know what I’ll be doing these next couple of days. I’d love to hear your traditions, too - so share them in the comments below!
Preparing for Christmas, some baking is definitely in order. This year, I only managed to make one batch, delicious thumbprint cookies with raspberry jam, so next year, I’ll definitely have to step up my game in this regard!
We also usually invite the boyfriend’s family over for some traditional Danish gløgg and æbleskiver (read more about Danish Christmas food here).
On the 22nd or 23rd of December, we head out to the boyfriend’s parents’ house to decorate the Christmas tree. Our own little tree, Betram, has been set up and decorated since the second advent Sunday this year, though.
We spend Christmas Eve with the boyfriend’s family, too. In Denmark, Christmas Eve is the big day, and all the family is gathering to spend it together. Some go to church, while others stay at home to prepare dinner. In the afternoon, we usually make some Feuerzangenbowle - a German traditional Christmas time drink, in which a sugar cone is soaked in rum, lit on fire, and the melting sugar slowly drips down into a pot of mulled wine. This is a tradition that I’ve brought to the family, and I’m so glad that everyone gets excited about it every year. This time around, I’ve stepped up my game and bought a specific sugar cone holder for the purpose! Here’s a little video about how to make Feuerzangenbowle (I love the guy’s adorable German accent, too!).
Afterwards, there’s dinner, with the Danish classics of flæskesteg, duck, red cabbage, and caramelized potatoes. I always overeat - anyone else have that problem? Dessert is always a highlight: ris à l’amande, the classic Danish Christmas dessert with an almond hidden in it and a gift for the lucky one that finds it.
After dessert, we dance around the Christmas tree while singing Danish Christmas songs - by now I even understand the lyrics! And then it’s hours and hours of unwrapping presents, until everyone finally retires to bed.
Christmas Day is different every year. This year, it’ll be travel day, as we’re driving down to Germany. I expect that we’ll leave in the morning and arrive some time before dinner, hopefully. I’ll also be making some eggnog to bring along using this recipe, which I’m hoping we can sip by the fireplace in the evening.
The 26th of December is “my” big family Christmas. We meet up for a big Christmas lunch, which in my family consists of a large goose, an even larger turkey, potatoes, Semmelknödel (bread dumplings), red cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and loads of gravy. The rest of the day is spent in unwrapping presents, drinking hot chocolate, nibbling on cookies and other Christmas sweets, and simply enjoying each other’s company.
So that’s it - my Christmas plans and traditions! I hope you have a fantastic Christmas with your family, friends, and loved ones, that you get to spend quality time with everyone you hold dear, and that you get to eat boatloads of delicious food.
Merry Christmas, glædelig jul, and Frohe Weihnachten!