Interior design blogger Niki Brantmark provides a few ideas to help turn your home into a cutting edge Swedish winter wonderland. "/> Interior design blogger Niki Brantmark provides a few ideas to help turn your home into a cutting edge Swedish winter wonderland. " />
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CHRISTMAS IN SWEDEN

CHRISTMAS

Creating a Christmas home, Swedish style

Looking for tips for how to give your home some Swedish Christmas flare? Interior design blogger Niki Brantmark provides a few ideas to help turn your home into a cutting edge Swedish winter wonderland.

Creating a Christmas home, Swedish style

It’s December, and every house in Sweden is bustling with activity. There are advent candles to put in the windows, paper star lanterns to go up in prime outlooks and candles to be lit on shelves, tables, mantel pieces and window sills.

It’s time for ‘Julmys’ or ‘Christmas coziness’. And in the true Swedish way, it’s done with style and flair.

Decorating from nature

So, how to create a contemporary Swedish Christmas in your home?

Forget tinsel. Forget frosty the glowing snowman. Forget blue, yellow and pink flashing fairy lights. It’s time to do it the natural way.

Take to the forests and forage for fir cones, acorns, holly, and branches bursting with bright red berries. Arrange wintery sprigs around candles, over picture frames and on the window sills. Put candles in pretty glass jars and scatter in their masses on windowsills, tables, walls and floors and watch the flames leap and twist and create shadows on the walls.

Fell your own tree

All hail the important Christmas tree. If you want to be with the Christmas in-crowd, avoid the local supermarket car park. Treat the acquisition of a tree with the annual fanfare it deserves.

Don your snow shoes, hat and gloves, and with saw in hand, head out into the woods with your family.

The wonkier the tree you find, the more character it will have once you have dragged it home and adorned it with home made decorations. Though don’t forget that felling a tree in the woods requires the permission of the landowner and that there is generally a fee involved.

Remember to raise a glass of glögg or a mug of hot cocoa from a thermos to salute your new home centre-piece – or maybe just to warm your hands.

Appeal to the olfactory senses

Nothing beats the Yule tide smell of a freshly cut Christmas tree. But if you want to go all the way, a Swedish Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Farfar’s lethal homemade glögg.

So get brewing. Add raisins and almonds to your steaming mug and serve with home made ginger biscuits cut into the shapes of hearts, stars and pigs (yes, I know).

Pierce oranges with cloves and hang on a thread from the mantel piece and dot star shape bowls crammed with star anise around the room. And only then will you really start to sense the heady smell of a Swedish Christmas.

The beauty is in the detail

This is all very well and you probably will create a lovely ‘Julmys’ feel if you fulfil some or all of the above.

But if you really want to be at the cutting edge of a Swedish Christmas, you’ll want to add a few textiles and furniture to the mix.

Think reindeer fur on the floor, antlers on the wall, black and white baubles in bowls, grey sheepskin throws over the back of dining chairs, raw wood side tables and candles in pretty silver lanterns.

Some even change the curtains for a more festive feel. Think Swedish log cabin at Christmas if you will.

But I live in a modern apartment?

All very well if you live in an ancient wood cabin in Lapland surrounded by acres of forest, but if your home is a 1950’s triple glazed apartment in the centre of Malmö this is slightly more of a challenge.

But help is at hand!

Click here for some more shopping tips to get you inspired for your own Swedish Christmas at home, just add glögg and cheer!

Have a cosy Christmas!

Nicola Brantmark

For more daily interior design inspiration, tips and tricks to create a beautiful home visit Niki’s blog.You can also follow Niki on Facebook and Pinterest.

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CHRISTMAS

Sweden’s best Christmas markets for 2021

After many Christmas markets were cancelled last season, you may be wondering where you will be able to get this year's dose of Christmas cheer. Here are our suggestions for some of Sweden's best Christmas markets.

snow on stockholm's gamla stan christmas market
Stockholm Old Town's Christmas market may be one of Europe's oldest. Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

SOUTHERN SWEDEN

1. Malmö Mitt Möllan

The trendy and multicultural area of Möllevången in Sweden’s third biggest city has become the spot for a special Christmas market for those looking for a modern and hipster-ish atmosphere. The Mitt Möllan traders’ association organises a market that promises art, culture, food and fashion. Busy that weekend? Malmö’s traditional annual Christmas market in Gustav Adolfs square, focusing on local products, is being held in three sessions, from December 9th-12th, 16th-19th and 20-23rd. 

When: December 2nd-5th

Tickets: Free

2. Kalmar Castle, Kalmar

This spectacular 800-year-old castle has established itself as one of the largest Christmas markets in Sweden. For four days, the whole building will be opened to the public and visitors get the chance to wander around in the historic decorated halls. Listen to Christmas and winter music, and walk around the castle and visit some of the about 120 craftsmen from all over Sweden who set up their stands and sell handmade items. 

When: November 25th-28th

Tickets: 90 kronor (free for under-12s)

Kalmar Castle in Småland provides a scenic location for one of Sweden’s largest Christmas markets. Photo: Emmy Jonsson/Scandinav Bildbyrå/imagebank.sweden.se

Katrinetorps Landeri, also known as Gourmetgården, is Malmö’s Christmas market for foodies. This market, situated in the house and gardens of Katrinetorp, built in the 1800s, will have a focus on Christmassy food such as glögg (mulled wine), as well as a horse and cart, antiques, a Lucia parade and dancing around the Christmas tree. They will also be offering their own handmade products in their deli.

When: December 3-5th

Tickets: 80 kronor for adults, free for children under 15

4. Jul på Bosjökloster, Höör

Christmas at Bosjökloster monastery is also back for 2021! As in previous years, this market will feature Christmas concerts in the church, as well as locally produced gifts and food for perfect Christmas gifts. Visitors will also be able to eat a traditional Swedish julbord, meet Santa, ride a horse and cart and “look for presents in the maze”. This market is taking place on the first weekend of advent, meaning you can start getting into the Christmas spirit as early as November!

When: November 26th-28th

Tickets: 100 kronor for adults, dropping to 50 kronor after 2pm on Sunday and free after 3pm on Sunday. Free for children under 16. Over-65s pay 80 kronor on Friday

CENTRAL SWEDEN

5. Liseberg theme park, Gothenburg

Sweden’s biggest amusement park, Gothenburg attraction Liseberg, lights up every year with millions of Christmas candles. A traditional Christmas Market and an old-fashioned Christmas market in different areas of the park offer everything from carol singing to pony carousel rides. Ice shows, Santa’s grotto, an ice skating rink and the park’s rabbits are sure to keep your little ones entertained. More information here.

When: Thursdays-Sundays between November 19th and December 30th. Check website for more details.

Tickets: Entrance from 95 kronor (free for children up to 110 centimetres) to 245 kronor for unlimited rides. The price varies depending on which day you visit as well as whether you want to go on the rides or not.

 

Gothenburg’s Liseberg theme park is host to a Christmas market complete with festive lights. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/Scanpix/TT

6. Skansen, Stockholm

Take the ferry over to Stockholm’s Djurgården island from Slussen and stroll over to Skansen, Europe’s biggest outdoor museum, which has organized its own Christmas market since 1903. It’s a great place to snap up some presents in the form of traditional Swedish arts and crafts, as well as having a feel of how Christmas was celebrated in the past.

When: Fridays-Sundays between November 26th and December 19th.

Tickets: 70 kronor for children aged 4-15, 160 kronor for adults and 140 kronor for concessions.

7. Old Town, Stockholm

Around 40 stands set up shop right in the middle of Stockholm’s Old Town ahead of the festive season, selling Swedish Christmas sweets, smoked reindeer, elk meat, a range of Swedish handicrafts and decorative arts, and much more. The setting alone is enough to get anyone into a romantic Christmas mood. This market might actually be one of the oldest in Europe, since the first Christmas market in the square was held as early as 1523 (although it started in its current format in 1837).

When: November 20th-December 23rd

Tickets: Free

8. Wadköping Christmas Market, Örebro

The Wadköping outdoor museum, which is an echo of what Örebro looked like centuries ago, organises a Christmas market full of the usual traditions: Christmas decorations, sausages, cheeses and arts and crafts. 2021’s Christmas market will also feature outdoor Christmas songs and pony riding.

When: November 21st and 28th, December 5th and 12th

Tickets: Free

NORTHERN SWEDEN

9. Gammelstads Kyrkstad, Luleå

Brave the cold (and it will be cold) for a Christmas market in the far north of Sweden. The Gammelstad Church Town is the country’s largest and best preserved church town, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is over 400 years old, and comprises of 405 cottages, six stables and a privy, sprawling around a large medieval stone church. The Christmas market takes place at the Hägnan open air museum, where around 80 exhibitors sell products from home-baked goods to arts and crafts. Visitors this year will be able to make their own candles, meet Santa and go on a candle-lit walking tour through the museum.

When: December 4th-5th

Tickets: 30 kronor

10. Jokkmokk Christmas Market, Jokkmokk

Jokkmokk is located in the north of Sweden, in the Arctic Circle. It is an important place for the Sami people, the only indigenous population in Scandinavia. It is famous for its winter market in February, which first took place in 1605. At their recently-established Christmas market, held in celebration of the winter solstice, visitors will find traditional Sami handicrafts – called duodji – and learn more about their history and culture.

When: December 11th-12th

Tickets: Free

Traditional Sami handicrafts – called guksi or kåsa – wooden drinking cups available at the Jokkmokk Christmas and winter markets. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix/TT
 

11. Christmas Market at Nordanå, Skellefteå

Are you in Skellefteå this December? Pay a visit to the Christmas market at Nordanå, which started in 1975. It is particularly known for its arts and crafts, and in past years visitors have been able to buy handmade ceramics, knitted baby clothes, and tin thread jewellery.

When: December 5th

Tickets: Free

12. Christmas Market at Västerbotten Museum, Umeå

This Umeå museum dedicated to the region of Västerbotten organises its annual Christmas market again. It promises a candy shop, horse-drawn carriage rides, a bakehouse and more than 80 artisans selling locally produced food and quality wares. Hungry visitors can also learn about what Christmas dinner from this region may have looked like in the 1870s.

When: December 4th-5th

Tickets: Free

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