Your Swedish gift guide for this holiday season!
The days are getting shorter, the temperature is getting colder, and Christmas, or Jul, is fast approaching! Today I am going to share with you some perfectly Nordic Christmas gifts. These are items you will find in any Swedish house during these festive times. So add them to your list if you want to Swedify your home or give a gift you know a Swede will enjoy!
Advent candles are a must in any Swedish home during the holidays. Traditional they are made with wax candles and the four candles represent the four weeks of Advent and are burned each Sunday leading up to Christmas, forming a latter or staircase. Many designer Swedish brands offer Advent candle stick holders, like this one.
While many Swedes still use candles, electric Advent candelabras became popular in the 1900s as part of a fire safety campaign. Now, you can find an electric Advent candelabra in every window across town during December – even in offices. The most classic Advent candle is a red wooden on shaped like an upside down V. One can find them easily and cheaply, even at Biltema, the autoparts superstore, for under 80 SEK (~$9 USD).
If you are looking for something more modern, look no further than Elflugan. “The Electric Firefly” is a gorgeously designed electric Advent light with 19 lamps. It is available in five colors and looks perfect in any windowsill or even in an empty fireplace. It will put you back 2,645 SEK (~$300 USD). I think it is stunning and make a campaign to keep it out year round, but my boyfriend wants to enjoy it during Christmas only.
Let there be light!
Klippan Yllefabrik makes the best wool blankets, and they have been doing so since 1879. I love their Hope blanket, which is 60% merino wool and 40% lambswool. I’ve even gifted one to my brother for Christmas 2020.
With the doom and gloom weather outside, Swedes take refuge indoors and light some candles to make the place totally mysigt. And nothing looks better in candlelight than gold-brushed metals. Klong is known for their candle holders and most Swedish homes have a Gloria or Constella around.
And if your loved one is more into flowers, you can’t go wrong with Meadow.
Shepard of Sweden makes the coziest slippers. They were founded in 1982 and make sheepskin and sheep wool slippers with a Scandinavian design. They have tons of yummy slippers that are perfect for both indoors and outside. Since Swedes never wear shoes in the house, and hard wood is the flooring of choice, slippers are the perfect gift for Nordic friends. And if you want to be the hands-down best host in town, have a few spare pairs in different sizes to offer to friends when they come over.
- The electrical Advent candelabra was innovated by Swede Oskar Andersson in 1934. Oskar was employed at lighting manufacturer Philips in Gothenburg. In 1937, Philips introduced the electrical advent candelabra to the Swedish market. The 3,000 items manufactured were sold out instantly. It has been a success since the start.
- Elflugan was created in the 1990s by designers Marie Lundgren-Carlgren and Kina Strandberg and was inspired by the Luciatåg, the Lucia train.
- Sheepskin is naturally antibacterial and has dirt-repellent properties.
- With all those candles burning a fire blanket (brandfilt) is a perfect, and practical, gift for your favorite safety-conscious Swede. And Solstickan is the go-to Swedish brand (I love the nostalgia of the Coppertone Baby vibe). Their fire blankets come in a nice metal box that can be hung on a wall for easy access (I’d recommend keeping one in the kitchen). They also have designer fire extinguishers, though fire blankets are more effective in putting out fires (Why? Because you have to point extinguishers are the base of the fire, not the top of the flames as most people incorrectly do).
- Have a book lover on your list? A Scandinavian Christmas: Festive Tales for a Nordic Noël might just be the book for hen (him or her). It is a collection of 16 tales that all take place during Christmas time. There is, of course, some Hans Christian Andersen (though he was Danish). Fair warning, not all tales are cozy here, some are downright dark! The cover, however, is beautiful.
Hope you learned some new Swedishness today and I’ll see you in the next post!