We are major tradition lovers in our family with it comes to Christmastime. The older we get, the more traditions we seem to rack up over the years. If a cookie recipe or a lighting display or a holiday road trip is particularly awesome, it’s bound to be repeated for eternity. But there’s one tradition that has been in my family way longer than I’ve even been alive—celebrating our Swedish heritage.
Growing up, I still remember the Swedish songs my grandmother would sing and the Swedish pancakes that greeted me every morning when we visited her. She passed away when I was 12 year old, but to this day, I can still hear her bubbly laugh.
Ever year at Christmas, I display a St. Lucia Day-inspired table in our dining room as a way to remember her and honor our cousins on the other side of the world.
In Sweden, St. Lucia Day (or St. Lucy’s Day) is a big event. It is a feast day to celebrate the festival of light and the arrival of the Light of Christ within the Advent season. If you’re thinking about incorporating a Swedish-inspired Christmas sweets table of your own, here are some easy tips to make it happen.
Create a Candle Crown Centerpiece
In many towns throughout Sweden, a girl is chosen to dress as St. Lucia in a white dress, red sash and a wreath of candles on her head as other children carry rolls and cookies in procession while singing in the darkness of the Winter Solstice.
Make your own candle crown centerpiece by using a live olive and eucalyptus wreath, five candleholders or a low candelabra, and tall white taper candles. Add in natural straw garland and cranberry beads for color and texture.
Serve Traditional Swedish Treats
Make an event of your sweets table by incorporating tubes of icing and candies for cookie or gingerbread house decorating.
Cinnamon rolls and saffron buns are a must-have on any authentic Swedish holiday table as well.
And no sweets table is complete without a yummy helping of lingonberry jam to make with rosette and timbale cookies.
Mix some hot glögg with red wine (or just water to make it kid-friendly) and garnish with cinnamon sticks and apple or orange slices. For a pretty and simple drink station display, put mugs in easy reach on a wire drying rack.
Don’t Forget the Details
Or you can incorporate natural straw ornaments on a tree or wreath for an organic, rustic style.
Raise your mugs of hot glögg and say, “Sköl!” The most important detail in any holiday tradition is to simply enjoy the season with the ones you love. The desserts are just a bonus, right?
God jul and gott nytt år, friends!