Christmas

SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS :: Your Chance to be Featured on the Fourth Annual Blog Series!

Scandinavian_Christmas_Oaxacaborn_2014

It’s that time again. For the fourth year in a row, Oaxacaborn will soon be transformed into a Scandinavian winter wonderland — and I can’t wait!

Here are a just a few highlights from the last few years.

Of course, none of this would be possible without YOU, my incredible world-wide readers. So, what do you have for us all this year? Email me at oaxacaborn@gmail.com!

(Still need ideas? You can read more about what sort of Scandinavian/Nordic Christmas topics to submit, or click here to see the entire Scandinavian Christmas archive.)

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Christmas

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, oaxacaborn@gmail.com.

(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! 

Christmas

NORDIC CHRISTMAS :: Beate Hemsborg on Christmas Decorating and Relaxing

spisestue - Beautiful Nordic Christmas interior from the beate hemsborg blog as seen on the Oaxacaborn blog
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!
spisestue - Beautiful Nordic Christmas interior from the beate hemsborg blog as seen on the Oaxacaborn blog
“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.”

advents stake - Beautiful Nordic Christmas interior from the beate hemsborg blog as seen on the Oaxacaborn blog

bord - Beautiful Nordic Christmas interior from the beate hemsborg blog as seen on the Oaxacaborn blog

kjøkken - Beautiful Nordic Christmas interior from the beate hemsborg blog as seen on the Oaxacaborn blog

stuen - Beautiful Nordic Christmas interior from the beate hemsborg blog as seen on the Oaxacaborn blog

kjøkken Beautiful Nordic Christmas interior from the beate hemsborg blog as seen on the Oaxacaborn blog

jule kalender - Beautiful Nordic Christmas interior from the beate hemsborg blog as seen on the Oaxacaborn blog

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Christmas, Conversations with Designers

CHRISTMAS :: Above the Polar Circle: An Interview with the Scandinavian Christmas Blog Author

Scandinavian Christmas Blog
As I did last year, this year I again turned to the Scandinavian Christmas blog for inspiration. And the longer I browsed, the more curious I became. I mean, with stunning photos like this image by Stephen Worrall…
Tromso Norway by Stephen Worrall
…and an intro paragraph which reads “A Swedish-Norwegian family who lives in the very north above the polar circle”, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Just how far north?!”

So I asked Anna Linda, the curator of the Scandinavian Christmas blog, to tell me more about this beautiful place where she lives (and yes, more about her blog, too).

Anna Linda: I live in Tromsø, Norway, which is at the same latitude as northernmost Alaska or Siberia, and sits on the edge of the Arctic regions. Thankfully the climate is a little milder because of the Gulf Stream, and “our” island benefits from the protection of surrounding mountains.

What brought you to Tromsø — and what characteristics define this unique place?
Anna Linda:When my husband was offered a job here we got excited about the adventure it would be for us “southerners” to experience the North. Tromsø is a small town but boasts a University and large hospital, and is the commercial hobnob of the northern regions. Yet the polar wilderness and striking beauty is no more than 15 minutes away from the town square, making it an eldorado for extreme sports, biking and hiking. We experience polar night (no sun) and midnight sun (no darkness), plenty of northern lights, and extreme amounts of snow.

You feature simple yet stunning pieces on your blog — everything from linens to kitchen and gardening accessories to (of course!) Christmas decorations. What do you look for in the items you choose to bring into your own home?
Anna Linda:My own subjective combination of form and function. Form doesn’t need to follow function, but form needs to be well executed to interest me. Good looking everyday items, that are made well, are more interesting than decoration. A tea mug needs to sit comfortably in your hand, to be properly balanced, the thickness of the porcelain and the curve proportionate for your lips, and its size perfect for a generous serving.

I’m quite physical in the process of selection. I touch the textures, feel the weight, stroke surfaces, hold things in the air to discover points of gravity. Even if it’s the discount section at IKEA.

The phrase “Scandinavian Christmas” brings to mind a very distinctive look and style. What are the elements which make up this style — and why do you think this aesthetic is shared across Scandinavian countries?
Anna Linda:Elements that unite the modern Nordic preferences are: adoration of “white, light and bright”, pale wood, strong graphics, and a love for midcentury designers. From a historical viewpoint it is easy to see the influence of Gustavian neoclassicism, reformative ideas of the late 1800s, and functionalism.

But all theory aside, it’s probably a matter of availability. The look is easy to achieve even if you’re colourblind with the tiniest of budgets. Swedes are also collectivistic and anxious about falling out of the norm, which causes trends to spread like wildfire.

What Christmas design trends have you noticed over the past few years?
Anna Linda:The first decade of the new millenium had a definite stroke of exotism, with references to Morocco and “SohoBohos”: deep jewel tones combined with gold or glitter, damask patterns.

Next came the “white on white” or “white & metallics” phase, followed by a crafty craze with doilies, dots, turquoise and bright reds. Two years ago it shifted to a cabin hommage that still lingers: plaids, kraft paper and string, knitted and cross stiched details. In the wake of the shabby chic movement a parallell colour scheme is gaining popularity with lilac, gray and silver at the forefront.

My predictions are that the next big thing will be a warmer retro palette with influences from the seventies: deep green, navy, orange, yellow, brown and brass.

Thank you, Anna Linda! Readers, I know it’s a busy time — but I encourage you all to take a little coffee break and scroll through the Scandinavian Christmas blog. Scattered in between stunning images of Tromsø’s lights twinkling in polar darkness are old photographs of Christmases past, Scandi-modern items for your home, Christmas music and recipes, tidbits about culture and traditions…it does a heart good. -Gina

Christmas

NORDIC CHRISTMAS :: Noe på Hjertet’s White-on-white Dinner Party

It’s no secret that I’m an admirer of all things Nordic and Scandinavian. I love seeing how broad and diverse the styles within this realm truly are; rustic to modern and every variation in between. Now this one — this one is truly white-on-white!

Thanks to Jorid Kvam, the talented Norwegian blogger and designer of Noe på Hjertet, for sharing these photos of her stunning dinner party.

6 - Nordic Christmas Fotos by Jorid Kvam for Noe på Hjertet 5 - Nordic Christmas Fotos by Jorid Kvam for Noe på Hjertet 4 - Nordic Christmas Fotos by Jorid Kvam for Noe på Hjertet 3 - Nordic Christmas Fotos by Jorid Kvam for Noe på Hjertet 2 - Nordic Christmas Fotos by Jorid Kvam for Noe på Hjertet Nordic Christmas Fotos by Jorid Kvam for Noe på Hjertet

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