Sharing a Danish Christmas – Pt. 1



I can’t believe Christmas and New Year is already over! Wasn’t it November just a moment ago? I had blog posts planned for November, then December but never found the time to hit the “publish” button between seeing friends, buying presents and working on my novel. Actually, I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I had my first English Christmas and wrote about it here on the blog.

This year I was back home in Denmark again but for the first time I got to share my Danish Christmas traditions with Daniel. I also got to experience what it’s like travelling with presents, not only for myself but also all the presents for Daniel and those we had bought for my family in England. Hint: It included two big suitcases, a cabin trolley, a camera bag and two handbags. It seemed like a lot for just 8 days but it was worth it to be able to give my family things they wouldn’t be able to get at home.

Christmas was really lovely but it all went so quickly! I got to show Daniel what a Danish Christmas consists of in my family:

  • Afternoon drinks and biscuits before the big Christmas Eve Dinner on the 24th, which the Danish tradition is surrounded about
  • My mum’s amazing duck roast (I’m sorry England but your turkey will never be as good as that!)
  • My aunt’s just as incredible gravy that converted my anti-gravy-liking boyfriend that gravy is the best
  • My mum’s Risalamande, that she kindly prepared as a hot version of rice porridge for me and Daniel, because we don’t like the traditional dessert served cold in Denmark
  • Silly dancing around the tree lit with real candles while singing carols, while Daniel tried not to laugh – I understand why this particular Danish tradition does not go well with the reserved sensibility of Englishmen
  • That final great moment of opening up the presents late in the evening, before collapsing exhausted in a big pile of used wrapping paper just before midnight
  • The Gift Game” on the 25th, our Boxing Day – A game played around the table with silly, little gifts, where the goal is to steal as many gifts from everyone else as possible – a tradition that Daniel would like to bring to England next year
  • Those quiet, peaceful days that follow the crazyness of Christmas, when we watch films, read and eat chocolate and leftovers. As much as I love Christmas Eve itself, these days are the ones that I look forward to the most.

It’s always a little bit scary to share your own traditions with someone else, not just because every family has their own but in my case also because the English and Danish traditions are so different from each other. If I’m being honest and I like to be honest on the blog, I had worried that Daniel wouldn’t like any of our food, that my family would struggle speaking English all the time and that Daniel would perhaps even get bored with the stuff we do in my family.

But in the end, I had nothing to worry about. Christmas was both good, lively and quiet. It was full of my favourite food, which as it turned out, Daniel liked too and the kind of Danish hygge with my family that always makes me feel home. And the best part of it? I got to share it all with Daniel.

I’m pretty sure that Daniel hasn’t been scared away and that we will be back again in two years, if nothing else for the duck, the gravy and that creamy, silky smooth rice porridge of my mum’s.



  1. Lea
    January 12, 2017 / 5:11 pm

    It’s always nice to hear that people like to visit Copenhagen. The city is at it’s best in the summer and at Christmas time, I think. In the summer especially we loosen up a bit more. I hope you had a nice Christmas, too!

  2. January 11, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    Sounds wonderful, Lea! I like the silly dancing part especially 🙂 By the way, I visited Denmark last summer and had a wonderful time! Good to hear about the Christmas traditions.

  3. Lena
    January 10, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    Hi Lea (and Daniel)
    It was a nice christmastime, as always. Nice to see you back in Denmark and nice to say hello to Daniel. Hope, that Daniel liked this crazy family and their Christmas traditions just a little bit.

    See you
    Your ant Lena

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