SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS :: 10 Daily Advent Calendar / Julkalender Ideas

A little late to the game with this one, guys — sorry! Thankfully, a lot of you were able to peruse previous advent calendar roundups herehere and here,  while I collected a few more. But there’s no reason why you can’t do, say, a ten-day countdown, right?

One little cardboard house for each day of Advent, via  Mokkasin

Red and white fabric packages tied up with string, via Beate Hemsborg

Versatile storage boxes for all year long — labeled for Advent! via IKEA Sverige

Plain clothespins fastened to a board hold up packets of Advent goodies, via IKEA Sverige

Screenshot 2015-12-03 at 9.40.55 PM
Wall-mounted antlers serve as a hanger for paper lunch bags folded over, via A Merry Mishap

bfIMG_2128Coffee filters, washi tape and yarn — this is an accessible, fun DIY calendar! via Scrumdilly-do


Paper lunch bags decorated with thread, stars, and charms, via Natuerlich Kreativ (also, great black and white paper printables from Natuerlich Kreativ)

A multitude of wee Advent houses — complete with a brilliant print-and-fold template to make your own, via Raum Dinge

diy-anleitungen-adventskalender-5A bright and bold adventskalender, via Living at Home

And finally, the coziest candlelit scene warming up all those dark afternoons, via Lyllos.

How you count down to Christmas in your home? With a delicious chocolate calendar, a schedule of Advent readings, or a crafty calendar like the ones above? Let me know in the comments — or take a photo and tag me, @oaxacaborn, on Instagram!



Whether you spell it advent calendar or adventskalender — or even  julkalender  — we’re just two weeks away from December 1.  Time to get this Scandinavian Christmas series underway!

The first advent calendar example comes from Elisabeth Heier in Norway. She made this kalender tree from painted white boards — and then attached the paper bags to the tree using nails and wire. It’s really striking — and the black and white design keeps it from looking too cluttered.

Elisabeth Heier Kalender Tree via SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS Advent Calendar round-up on the Oaxacaborn blog
Advent Calendar Tree / Kalender tre via Elisabeth Heier

This next advent calendar, from The Merry Thought blog, cleverly strings up an evergreen bough and then decorates with tiny plywood-covered matchboxes. The full tutorial can be found here.

The Merry Thought - Evergreen Bough Hanging Advent Calendar via SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS Advent Calendar round-up on the Oaxacaborn blog
Hanging Christmas Tree Branch Advent Calendar via The Merry Thought

Starting with a plain tree, and adding one decoration per day until the tree is filled at Christmas — what a good idea! This filigrantrae is Danish-inspired and comes from Nalle’s House blog. Bonus: her post has a full tutorial if you want to make your own dowel tree, although this ideas would work with any small tree.

Nalle's House DIY Wooden Dowel Tree via SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS Advent Calendar round-up on the Oaxacaborn blog
Danish Wooden Dowel Tree via Nalle’s House

Most of the advent candles I’ve seen in my life are a group of four candles, one for each advent Sundag leading up to Christmas. But I love the idea of a single large candle measuring the days, turning the candle into a daily tradition rather than weekly one. In fact, Tina over at Copenhagen’s Traveling Mama, has observed that’s the norm in Denmark!

Traveling Mama Advent Candle Numbered for Days via SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS Advent Calendar round-up on the Oaxacaborn blog
Advent Candle Numbered for Days via Traveling Mama

If you have an accessible staircase bannister, you could make that the focal point for your advent gifts, like Swedish blog Fröken Knopp did with newsprint and twine. (P.S. How cute is that painted floor?)

Fröken Knopp Advent Calendar on Staircase via SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS Advent Calendar round-up on the Oaxacaborn blog
Staircase, Newsprint and Twine Advent Calendar via Fröken Knopp

I can hardly get over Vibeke Design’s stunning advent calendar shop display. Paper cones, edged in lace, hung from a lichen-covered hardwood branch. Oh, so pretty!

Vibeke Design Christmas Shop Display in Sweden, via SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS Advent Calendar round-up on the Oaxacaborn blog
Advent Calendar Display via Vibeke Design Christmas Shop in Sweden

How are you planning to celebrate and decorate for advent this year? I’d love to hear! And if you need more ideas, here are more advent calendar ideas and even more advent calendar ideas!

Want to contribute to the 4th Annual Scandinavian/Nordic Christmas Series? Click here to find out how!


SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS :: 5 Ideas for an Advent Calendar / Julkalender / Adventskalender

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 via Advent Calendar Ideas on Oaxacaborn

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 via Advent Calendar Ideas on Oaxacaborn

Advent Calendar via Babyramen – Hand-stamped white bags are clothes-pinned to a string in this simple advent calendar.

minikunst - Last minute advent calendar

Advent Calendar via miniKUNST – Little notes tucked into drilled holes – so clever!

adventkalender og adventstake via innsidenut

Advent Calendar via innsidenUt – White paper bags on white shelves — this one is an intriguing combination of intricate and minimalist.

Adventskalender - emmaleinswelt

Advent Calendar via Emmas Welt – I love the Dala horse detail here; click through to see her entire adventskalender.

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. ;)

Want to contribute to the 3rd Annual Scandinavian/Nordic Christmas Series? Click here to find out how!


SCANDINAVIAN & NORDIC CHRISTMAS :: 3rd Annual Open Call for Christmas Submissions

NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS for the 3rd Annual Scandinavian and Nordic Christmas Series on the Oaxacaborn blog! (Carl Larsson image) 

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,

(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!