I love this time of year! It is so magical and exciting! And of course so COZY!I will never forget one of my favorite Christmases. It was the first Christmas after my husband and I got married. We took a trip to Sweden where my husband’s family is from. The Swedish show “This is Your Life” was honoring my father-in-law for his work around the world with the Salvation Army. The show flew the entire family to Sweden for the show to surprise him. I didn’t understand a word, but it was still amazing. My husband and his mom and sisters and brother came out on the stage to surprise their dad all sharing stories in Swedish. Actually, the whole show was in Swedish, I did not understand a word, but because the camera would scan the audience at times I smiled and clapped on cue! It was so much fun.
That trip was over 20 years ago, but it made such an impact on how I decorate for Christmas. I am not Swedish, but of course my husband is and as a young wife I wanted our home to be a representation of how we both grew up celebrating Christmas. To this day, I have our trip to Sweden at Christmas time on my mind when I am decorating.
My favorite part of the trip was visiting my husbands relatives and seeing all the beautiful Swedish Christmas decor. It was all so beautiful. A lot of pops of red and wood everywhere. Nothing bright and flashy like we do in our country. It was simple, but still magical & so COZY.
My husbands parents had a big farmhouse in the town of Ostersund, the setting was so beautiful. Full of gorgeous antique furniture and unassuming Christmas decor. I remember thinking that all of the decor seemed to just blend into the room as if the wooden Santa’s and wooden deer could be left out all year-long.
A lot of what is on my mantel today, I bought in Sweden over 20 years ago! Of course the Swedish horses that are not painted are my favorite. This one was my husbands when he was little he actually tried to burn write his name “Lars” on it. I love that. Then the other one was from his grandmother as a gift to us.
Most of the Swedish horses you may have seen are painted red like this one in a beautiful pattern.
They are called Dala Horses. While in Sweden we visited the town of Dalarna where the horses are made in a small factory. We learned the history of the horse and were told that since Viking Times the horse was considered a holy animal and the symbol of the Swedish horse is a symbol around the world to the country of Sweden.
Another texture in Swedish Christmas decor is straw ornaments. So simple.
This fireplace nook is so cozy at night!
I love to have a fire in the early morning too, when everyone is still asleep.
I’ll make my coffee and have a Swedish roll (you can find that yummy Scandinavian recipe here). My journal and my Bible and it is the perfect start to my day!
So I guess I would say that to create a cozy Scandinavian Christmas mantel don’t focus on “bling” try to create more of a farmhouse feel by incorporating more wood as your main texture with a subtle hint of red.
God Jul! (Merry Christmas in Sweden)