Unwrapping Danish Christmas

Growing up with a Danish mother and an English father, we always celebrated Christmas as a hybrid of the two cultures. While not wildly different, the two Christmas cultures have distinctive traditions. I wanted to share with you some of the activities that are close to my heart and remind me of my Danish family.

On December 1st, the start of the Christmas season is symbolised by the first lighting of the advent candle. Healthier than the chocolate advent calendars we know well in Los Angeles, the advent candle is burnt for a small amount of time with each day until the 24th of December. The Danes love candles for the warm light and hyggelit atmosphere they bring. This year I’ve chosen this beautiful Georg Jensen example to light up my month.

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Copenhagen during the Christmas period, the central city’s Tivoli Garden is an absolute delight for the senses. The second oldest amusement park in Europe, Tivoli at Christmas transforms into a wonderland full of market stalls selling Glugg (hot wine), Christmas music and sparkling lights.

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen

Something not so unique but still as special to me was the setting of the Christmas table. Cloth napkins, special plates and glassware are all laid out from my favourite Danish designs. Some of the pieces I am looking forward to setting out this year are the bubble glass range from Louise Roe – champagne looks extra bubbly in these!

The Louise Roe champagen coupe range, including the Bubble coupe
The New Works Pleat Pitcher and Kizu Lamp

And finally, for the food that goes on the table:

One of my most cherished traditions is the Christmas Eve dinner, as opposed to the English 25th December feast. From pickled herring on rye bread, to roast duck, to the finale of the delicious Ris a l’Amande – a light creamy rice dessert with chopped almonds and vanilla. The trick is to find the whole almond hidden in one of the bowls to get an extra Christmas gift!

I wish you all the best for the holiday season in LA. I am looking forward to being back to celebrate the new year and sharing what’s in store for 2024 at Studio Haslund.