Lifestyle

I Love Online Christmas Shopping!

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It’s that time of year – Christmas is coming, and I have what feels like 100 presents to buy, but I’m so packed at work so it feels like I have no time at all. That’s why I love online shopping! You can sit at home and purchase all of your presents, and then just collect them all when they are delivered.

The other day I went to the post office to collect no more than four packages. Admitted, I had a hard time even bringing them home. My grandma is from Norway, and she still lives there. So she wished for a new lamp she had seen in her local Expert store. Again, I have to say that I love Scandinavia. Even though she found the lamp in a Norwegian Expert store, I could buy them at Expert Denmark’s online store. My brother and I are giving her a light therapy lamp like these. I really hope that she’ll be happy. I think so, though.

And speaking of lamps! My mother also wished for a lamp this Christmas. Not for light therapy, though. She wished for a new ceiling lamp to hang over the coffee table, and I had a look at some of the lovely lamps at Lysmesteren.dk. We haven’t quite determined which lamp to buy yet, but there’s definitely a great selection.

I almost bought all of my Christmas presents this year, and I’m really looking forward to seeing my family’s faces when they open up their presents!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE

A Danes view on Christmas Eve

In this article I would like to give you an insight in to how we celebrate Christmas Eve in Denmark.

Christmas Eve’s morning itself passes peacefully and most people don’t even realise that it is Christmas Eve yet. Christmas is celebrated on the 24th of December here in Denmark. During the morning and early afternoon the time flies whilst we are busy with preparations for the evening. That means that the dinner has to be prepared in good time.

The Danish Christmas dinner often consists of a combination of duck, Cumberland sausage, roast pork, goose and turkey. Added to that are the traditional side dieshes of caramelised potatoes, cabbage and sauce.  For pictures of traditional Danish Christmas food please take a look here.

For dessert we normally have risalamande, within which someone has “hidden” a whole almond that everyone busily tries to find whilst eating in order to receive the “almond present”.

The family members who are invited start arriving in the afternoon, bringing more helping hands to the kitchen. While the adults are in the kitchen happily working together, the children normally play board games and have fun in the living room. Often we play traditional board games as Sequence, Ludo or Bezzerwizzer. Typically we play board games where the whole family is able to join in.

When the food is just about to be ready we stop playing and get ready to eat. Traditionally the Christmas dinner seems never ending, especially for the children. The delicious Christmas courses are eaten with delight whilst people are chatting merrily. However the youngest children finish quickly in order to rush to the TV where the last episode of the daily Christmas Show is shown.

When we have finished the main course we normally have a “break” and relax a bit before we savour the dessert. The dessert is risalamande and the fight for the whole almond starts straight away. As always mothers prepare a huge portion of risalamande which “forces” the family to eat great amounts in order to win the “almond present”.

Normally there is one present for the children and one for the adults. The tradition around “almond presents” differs from family to family and to whether you eat risalamande on Christmas Eve. But in our family we do it with great pleasure. Would you like to get an insight into what an “almond present” could be, you could for instance check out this page here.

After the dessert, and a short rest, we start dancing around the Christmas tree. While we are dancing we sing songs like “Højt fra træets grønne top” and “Et barn er født I Betlehem”. If you would like to hear some of the songs we typically sing when we dance around the tree you can search on youtube.

When people cannot sing and dance anymore it is time to open presents. For most Danish children it is one of the highlights on Christmas Eve. Normally we take it in turns to open a present and then find a present for another person. That way we all get a chance to see what each other get.

It is often midnight before we are finished unwrapping the last presents. The youngest are getting tired and go to bed. We others stay up a little longer and chat. But most people go to bed soon hereafter. All the good food, the singing and dancing have made most of us really tired after a good day.

Thank you for letting me share a typical Danish Christmas Eve with you.

How do you celebrate Christmas Eve?

My Fellow Scandinavian Countries

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Last week I went to visit a friend in Sweden. I met her when I worked at Matas in the Danish shopping mall Bruuns Galleri in Aarhus a couple of years ago. She lives in Malmö, which made it easy for her to travel to Denmark.

Even though none of us works at the store anymore, we still keep in touch. And once in a while, one of us travels across Denmark, from Aarhus to Malmö, to visit. It’s always a great experience to visit her, because it’s not just a visit – it’s also kind of a vacation for me. Even though the Scandinavian countries are much alike, it’s still obvious that you are in a different country. I understand almost everything that is said, though.

We went shopping in Malmö, and one of my primary goals was to find the perfect Christmas present for my nephew. He loves the Lego Chima figurines, and I knew that those where cheaper to buy in Sweden. So I went to ToysRus and bought the coolest package with robots and everything! I already know that store from Denmark, but didn’t know that the same store was to find in Sweden, so I was quite happy when I saw the well-known logo.

My friend told me that she is going on a vacation in Denmark, on this campsite she found online. After working in Aarhus, she met a couple of Danish friends, and as her boyfriend has never been to Denmark, she thought it was a good opportunity for them to get a cheap and interesting vacation. The campsite is situated in Aalborg, not far from Aarhus.
I really think the unique bond between the Scandinavian countries is great. I think it’s the coolest thing that we can actually understand each other, even though we’re not talking the same language. So I’m definitely going to keep and appreciate my Swedish friend. After all, there are only a few hours between us.

PS. The picture is from a shopping mall in Malmö. Isn’t it great?

Lovely Danish Designs and Inventions!

When I think about the Danish inventions and designs, I cannot help to feel a bit proud of being a Dane. Did you know that a Dane designed the battery? And have you ever considered how many great Danish designs we have in interior design?

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The other day, I surfed the net for birthday wishes. I ended up at Luxoliving, which is a webpage where you can buy things for decorating your home. And here, I came across tons of beautiful Danish interior designs. I love all of the small figurines made by a variety of Danish designers – Kay Bojesen, Paul Anker and such. The figurines are sweet and cute-looking, but still very stylish and tasteful. I simply love them, and cannot get enough of them. I already have a few of them, but I think I have to wish for more.

Furthermore, I think that the Danish company Velux is so admirable. The products created by the company are innovative, unique and oh so functional. The history about how the company invented a completely new product that allowed for windows in rooftops is amazing. And the designs of the skylights made by Velux are so elegant.

Another thing that makes me proud is all of those inventions that were made by Danes. Did you know that it was Danes that invented the speaker, insulin and ostomy. Pretty amazing inventions if you ask me! And the battery is invented by a Dane as well – and now sold in millions around the world. Did you consider how many batteries are sold for private as well as professional purposes?

Okay, maybe I’m bragging a bit about my country. But honestly, I really am proud of Denmark. I have tons of respect for all of those Danes who did a little extra and created the society that we live in today.

4 cafés in Copenhagen you should visit

In this post I would like to introduce you to some of the special cafés in Copenhagen. We have lots of 100-year-old cafés, as well as modern cafés with good music and interesting cultural events.

Great cafés are spread all over the center of the city, and here are a couple of recommendations you should consider visiting during your stay.

Hvide Lam – End your day with a bit of jazz

The name means, “White Lamb” and this is a 125 old café at one of the oldest squares in Copenhagen: Kultorvet. All week you will find a group of jazz musicians playing in this tiny café.

The style is classic jazz with a drums, sax, trumpet, upright-bass etc. The vibe of this place will no doubt captivate you, and you will meet musicians who have been playing jazz for a lifetime.

Prices are fair and the beers are good. They don’t have a website, but you can read more over at Tripadvisor.

Bastardcafé – A board game cafe

Bastardcafe is a new cafe at the heart of Copenhagen at Rådshusstræde 13. The concept is simple, put your smart phone in your pocket, and enjoy a good old-fashioned board game in a cozy atmosphere.

There are lots of games you can play for free, and if you spend DKK25 ($4) on a one-day pass, there are more than 500 games you can play (including traditional Danish board games like Danmarksspillet).

If you are new into the world of gaming, you can talk to one of the “game gurus”, and let them help you out find a game for you, and learn the rules. It’s a good place to try out new board games.

Café Retro – a popular café that helps poor people

Café Retro is a non-profit café started by a group of young Copenhageners. The concept is simple: Everybody in the café work for free, and all the money goes to support homeless people in India and Africa.

Café Retro has lots of cultural events during the week like readings and intimate concerts, and you can also step by during the day, and enjoy the free wifi. Lot’s of students come here to study or work.

They also have a quiet room, which can be a nice get-away inside the hectic city. It is also widely used by religious people from all religions, who want to pray during the day. Definitely worth a visit if you need some quiet time, or if you just need a break and a cup of coffee.

Rum Club – get nerdy about your rum

This café / bar is for rum lovers. Rum club has more than 350 bottles on stock, so if you are into special rum, or just want to try something new – this is the place to go.

It is walking distance from the Town Hall Square at Studiestræde 5 in the basement, and once you step down into this dungeon-like place, you will feel the great atmosphere of old Copenhagen.

If you are new to the world of rum, you can start out with a rum menu, which will introduce you to the different tastes and genres of rum. They also blend their own rum, which can be bought at the place. A good souvenir from Copenhagen.