The Swedish clothing and home brand H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) was founded in 1947, but it’s only in the last decade that they’ve really gained popularity in the United States. But unless you were lucky enough to live near one of their stores, H&M still remained out of reach. But this year — less than six months ago — H&M opened up online shopping to US customers. Woohoo!
In case you, for some odd reason, haven’t already obsessively stalked the Christmas section of their website ;), here are some of the prettiest Christmas images from H&M Home’s Christmas selection.
A routine break in the day for coffee and sweets is a good thing to have as a part of the zeitgeist, no? In Sweden, these coffee breaks are called fika. And Cereal Magazine has a few photos of a Swedish-inspired cafe called just that.
Last year we used all blue and silver ornaments; this year red won — and I love it!
I tend to only put out a portion of the Christmas box contents each year. Aveline, of course, still wanted to hang all the ornaments so we made a mini clothesline out of twine and let her decorate that with some of the extras.
Do you try out different decorating themes every Christmas, or is your tree more traditional?
You know how there are some brands you really love one year, but the following season you’re indifferent? TOAST is not one of those brands. With every single catalogue, the mood created by their photography and staging makes me fall in love with them all over again. This December release is just so rustic and lovely.
Can’t get enough of TOAST? That’s ok! You can keep on looking through the TOAST archives, or go directly to a particular season in the list below.
With so many posts in my feed lately dealing with “Why we don’t do _________ at Christmas”, I thought I’d add my own (humorous?) take on the subject. – Gina
‘Twas the month before Christmas, and all through the ‘net
all the bloggers were stirring on their weblog gazettes,
Typing their opinions up without care
telling all readers to stop and beware
Of traditions and beliefs that could lead them astray,
all said, “It is better to do it this way.”
Some said more mangers and no tree at all;
some said no Santa or Elf on the Wall.
The readers were nestled all snug with their phones
while blog posts and rants spelled out the unknowns,
the harm to your psyche, the harm to your kids,
if you continue to believe what those people did.
When in the comments section there arose such a crash
I thought for certain someone’s head had been bashed.
And to their keyboards readers hustled and typed
adding and stirring and upping the hype.
The moon on this night was largely ignored,
for readers’ eyes were fastened to the electronic board,
where to their rectangular eyes would appear
another blog post promulgating fear,
With new and old phrases, so lively and quick,
but with declarations that sounded so slick.
More rapid than eagles the comments they flew,
and I knew in that moment what I had to do.
More kindness! More mercy! Fewer cat fights.
More grace, more calmness, and more of the Light.
Less “we don’t do Santa” and “we don’t do Elf”;
more of the Savior and less of myself.
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So through my pen my thoughts swirled and flew
as I jotted down reasons for thinking anew.
Christmas is Jesus and the gift of Himself
and salvation’s not threatened because of an elf.
And so in the blogosphere I pulled up a post
to calm the frenzy that had frazzled them most.
If you have a tree or five or you don’t,
if you decorate with a Claus or you won’t,
there is Something at Christmas that’s bigger than you:
the Hope that dawned that day is still new.
So readers and bloggers, quiet your heads,
and rest in the truth you have nothing to dread.
Join me in more joyous talk about what’s true
and less writing all the things we don’t do.
And when in the blogs there arises a clatter
pause and ask yourself if the argument matters.
Now to all you I give an encouraging shout,
“Happy Christmas to all!” And it’s time to log out.
Happy Friday! Aveline is sitting on my lap, and I’m finishing up my coffee as we listen to music together. And now let’s peek into a few living rooms in Sweden and Norway, and see what the Christmas trees look like, shall we?
Swedish Christmas via Lantliv (I love that subtle pattern on the painted wood floors!)
Norwegian Christmas; Photography by Nina Holst for Stylizimo Blog
Have you ever stuck to a simple, more neutral color scheme when decorating for Christmas? It requires so much restraint!
How is it that I have never thought of taking trimmed Christmas tree branches and making another tree? Sheer brilliance from the Polish blog Enjoy Your Home.
(I spy a clever clothespin advent calendar, too, and glass yogurt pots!)
For those of you who plan ahead, here are a handful of visually inspiring Advent calendar projects you can make yourself.
Advent Calendar via Dandee Designs - This beautiful calendar has printed advent activity cards attached to the back of each hanging tag.
Advent Calendar via Babyramen - Hand-stamped white bags are clothes-pinned to a string in this simple advent calendar.
Advent Calendar via miniKUNST – Little notes tucked into drilled holes – so clever!
Advent Calendar via innsidenUt - White paper bags on white shelves — this one is an intriguing combination of intricate and minimalist.
Will you be putting together an Advent calendar this year? What have you done in the past?
We plan on doing this activity-based one from Lifesong for Orphans, but I’m not sure I’ll assemble an DIY project in addition to that (despite what I said last year when I was talking about Advent calendar ideas. ;)
Carved wooden horses have been a part of Swedish culture since the 1600s. The distinct shape as we know it today was introduced in the 1700s, and the iconic paint pattern came along in the 1800s. Dala horses were even sometimes used as payment! But it wasn’t until 1939, when a Swedish architect created a huge Dala horse for the World’s Fair in New York, that the popularity of the dalahäst really took off.
[If video player does not appear, click here to view.]
Oh, I know they aren’t a traditional Christmas decoration. But they’re traditionally Swedish, and just happen to be come in very Christmasy colors. So why not? There are no rules about how you can decorate for Christmas — make the season your own, and let the decor reflect your own personality, style and heritage.
Want to contribute to the 3rd Annual Scandinavian/Nordic Christmas Series? Click here to find out how!
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It’s October, and already, I’m seeing a big spike in Christmas-related searches. (You all really, really love Christmas posts.) Can you believe it’s almost time for the Third Annual Scandinavian & Nordic Christmas Series? It’s crazy that we’ve been doing this together for three years now!
If you’re a new reader, every year in November and December everything goes Christmas here on Oaxacaborn. And not just any Christmas. We celebrate all things Scandinavian and Nordic, and during these next two months the blog will be full of Jul with brilliant guest posts by bloggers, photographers, writers from around Northern Europe.
We’ll talk about advent calendars (julkalender and adventskalender, that is), traditional celebrations and foods, wrapping paper, decorations, meals, dinner parties, ornaments, and Christmas trees. We’ll delve into snowy winters and traditions and we’ll light candles in the windows and we’ll deck the halls with red and white (and blue and yellow, and blue and white, too).
The most amazing part to me about the Annual Scandinavian & Nordic Christmas series is how all of you — all of us — come together to make this happen. For the last two years, people from all over Europe and the US and have shared beautiful Decemberish photographs and words with Oaxacaborn readers, and it’s you who have made this series the success it is today.
If you participated before, you’re welcome to share again! If this is your first time, we’re so happy to have you. (You don’t even need to be Scandinavian or Nordic…just a lover of Christmas and the northern traditions.)
Maybe you have a tutorial on how to create a Swedish heart. Maybe you want to share how your family celebrates Finnish Independence Day. Maybe your Christmas dinner table last year was stunning, and you want us to see. Maybe you live in a Scandinavian or Nordic country, and you want to send photos of your town’s or family’s celebrations. Maybe you have a memory of your grandparents and how they passed down the traditions to you. Maybe you’re an absolute pro at curating images, and you want to send a round-up of (properly credited) Christmas images. Maybe you’re a knitter who creates Icelandic sweaters. Maybe your Norwegian heritage shows proudly every time you get out the Christmas decorations. Maybe you want to show how the streets of Copenhagen look in December. Maybe you want to share some Christmas legends and lore. Or maybe you have a killer mantle display and want to share the wintry beauty.
Remember, we’re celebrating all things Nordic and Scandinavian, all November and December. So in addition to Christmas (of course!) this series also aims to showcase any national holidays or celebrations happening during that time leading up to Christmas, too.
So what are you waiting for? Check out the previous Scandinavian/Nordic Christmas posts here, and then email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Content which you’ve already published on your own blog is perfectly fine. And remember, the posts don’t have to be lengthy – a single inspiring image is excellent, as well.)
Can’t wait to hear from you. :)
Hyvää Joulua! God Jul!
Here, in the humid fog
(which, I imagine, might not be much
unlike The Night
in which the angel appeared)
here in the humid fog
the only snow looks like
paper scraps and
shaving cream. Bubbles and
these circles of vinyl we
press to the windowpanes
with hearts of hope
as though we were two again
or five or nine or eighty-four
as though we pressed up our noses
to the glass
waiting for papa to come home
or waiting for Christmas time
or waiting for snow.
But while we are grown
and while we are tall
and while we can reach the upper shelves, now –
we are still children.
We are still waiting for Papa,
and this window is a glass, dimly, and
we see glimmers of celestial light
inside claypots and
outside trimmed oil lamps, and
in cups of cold water, given.
Christmas day was the first time He came and
so now through the centuries since
we press our noses to the glass
Christmas Day, Round Two
(in which we will all be made wholecompleteperfected
and the sky will light up.)
These are tidings
of the greatest joy.
A bit later, He told us this, so that His
joy might be in us, and
our joy might be full.
So now let’s all press our noses
to the glass
and look heavenward
and reach high
“Once upon a time
One day a baby was born
And on that day it rained like it had never
Kings were there in human form
They came around from everywhere
To see his first born
In the winter
The ancient man in hallowed halls
Said he’s the one who saves us all
He’s the one of whom I’ve been told
I was there
I was there
In the winter
In the winter
The king bowed low
Laid down his sword….” -John Smith
The Norwegian blog beate hemsborg is a huge, huge inspiration to me when it comes to interiors. Inger’s home is absolutely and completely cozy all year long — the perfect spot for an coffee and cookies break! — and it turns even cozier at Christmastime.
Well, Inger is here on Oaxacaborn today to share her approach to Christmas (it includes cookies AND relaxing). I think we all, myself included, would do well to heed her wise advice when it comes simplicity and relaxation!
“The best part of Christmas is to have some days off with my husband and my two children. Sleeping until we wake up, and then lighting the candles in the livingroom because it is still dark when we get up. Children playing with toys that they got for Christmas…
I’m not the one who has a long to do-list for Christmas. I enjoy doing things whenever we want to… not just because it is on the list / schedule. We bake when the kids desire and Christmas-decorations are taken little at a time. The cookie-jars stand on the kitchen-shelf, and they are often empty before Christmas.
How I decorate / what gives me the Christmas spirit: I am not a fan of angels or Santa, I usually decorate with red and brown details. I think it’s the red details that create the Christmas spirit in my home. I do not like to fill up the room with lots of decorations, I use stuff that I have — but with a little Christmas twist. For example, a rustic flower pot with a small strip of brown paper and a red and white ribbon. I also use zinc a lot, and I love a little red string around a zinc bowl.”