One of the Danish Advent traditions we have adopted in our house is the advent candle. It is a way of marking the days running up to Christmas just like an advent calendar. I like that the candle marks these days with light, we also have a chocolate calendar to mark it with sugar too.
Lighting the advent candle gives the opportunity to pause for a few minutes, enjoy the light & have a quiet moment. We like to do it in the evenings when the day is done & we can relax. As December progresses & things inevitably get busier it becomes harder & harder to find quiet moments so the candle is like a port in the storm of Christmas preparations.
In Denmark, people often light it at breakfast & in families it is the kids job to blow it out at the right moment. I think this is a lovely way to bring the family together & start each day. The days are spent in darkness so it must feel even more special, that tiny spot of light in the almost perpetual darkness.
Christmas is the most hyggelig time of year. It’s the time when we get to spend the most time with family & friends, especially if we live away from our home towns. We also get to eat fabulous things, decorate our houses & indulge in nostalgia. Everything about Christmas is already hyggelig & the Danes evaluate Christmas in those terms. In fact to Julehygge (Christmas-hygge) is an adjective & a verb which I think says a lot. Sometimes it seems like the interest in Hygge outside Denmark sees it as something you do, a lifestyle choice but in Denmark it is the way of life. Christmas traditions in most countries are very similar I think for the Danes it is Hygge which changes it & makes it stand out.
As you race to prepare for Christmas maybe you can take a leaf out of the Danish book & make a little time everyday. Even 5 minutes of contemplation, thinking about the excitement & enjoyment to come is significant. We spend so much time dashing around but we can all spare 5 minutes. An advent candle can help you do this, or maybe just have a glass of wine or a cup of hot chocolate & think about the emotions & joys of Christmas not just the logistics.
We will be doing some Facebook live sessions over the coming weeks sharing ideas for homemade decorations, baking & making lovely Christmas things. Join us