Christmas in Denmark is a huge deal and they are really good in creating the Christmas atmosphere.
The majority of the Danes will celebrate Christmas on the 24th. They will invite all their family and friends and have a good traditional Christmas dinner. Also in my family we do celebrate it this way.
The main dish is a filled duck or flæskestig served with potato, rødkål (red cabbage) and brown sauce.
After everyone ate multiples and enormous portions of food and feel as they could explode…. Dessert will be served!
The most famous and traditional Danish dessert is Risalamande( rice dessert with whipped cream and pieces of almonds) with a sweet cherry sauce on top.
I don’t know if all the Danish families are doing this but in my family we have a “dessert game”.
Inside of the Risalamande my mom hides one ( and one only) whole almond. The rules are simple: who finds the almond wins. But he or she has to be smart enough to hide it and show it only when everything is eaten!
Every year my little brother is inexplicably the winner and my dad always tries to cheat. He takes an almond from the bag and tries to convince us that he’s the true winner. However the almonds used for the dessert are toasted, so we can distingue the fake one!
The winner of the Risalamande game wins a price, usually a homemade marzipan statue.
After dinner the adults clean the table and do the dishes meanwhile the kids ( or in my case not kids anymore because I am 25 years old and my brothers are 22 and 20) start to create a hygge environment in the living room.
My brothers and I will make sure to have a crackling fire in the fireplace and that all presents are under the Christmas tree. We light up the candles and put also some Christmas music in the background (my fav are Mariah Carey and Michael Buble) while waiting for the adults.
When everyone found a place to sit in the living room and the table is full of chocolate and homemade traditional Danish cookies , for the first time, we light on the Christmas tree.
It is in that moment, when the lights turn on, that is when the magic happens. Now you can feel it. It’s Christmas!
The tradition is to dance holding hands around the tree and to sing Danish Christmas songs.
However our tree is too close to the wall and no one in the family is a talented singer.We skip the singing and dancing part and get to the good one! The presents!!
The Danish tradition is to open all the presents on the 24th eve. It must be Hygge..Sitting by the fireplace, with candles and cookies, surrounded by the all your loved ones (and by a lot of presents).
The culture of Santa isn’t strong in Denmark. The kids know who’s giving them the presents. It’s from grandma, grandpa, mom, dad or your brothers or sisters. I have the feeling that receiving presents from people that love you is nicer than receiving presents from an anonymous Santa.
However this is only my opinion, I’ve grown up with this tradition so, of course, my judgment is not impartial.
I’m a Christmas person. I like the atmosphere, the decorations and the Christmas songs. I like to look and find the right present for the right person. Of course I like also receiving, but giving is the things that gives me more satisfaction and joy.
It doesn’t matter how you celebrate Christmas! The only thing that matters is that you are happy.
I wish you a joyful and a Hyggelig Merry Christmas!!
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