I expect that most families light up with joy when you ask them what Christmas traditions they enjoy. Something about this season is absolutely magical! Traditions make me feel so connected to people, both past and present.
My grandma comes from the “old country” and she and my dad made sure we valued and understood the beautiful traditions from Denmark. If you have Danish heritage, you might want to start doing some of these for yourself! Here are a few traditions that I love doing with my family that help us recall our Danish heritage at Christmastime. I hardly ever get around to doing them all, but the ones we do are very special.
Risalamande is a rice pudding dessert with cherry sauce, with an almond hidden in one of the bowls. The person who finds the almond wins a prize (we do a marzipan pig or something else). I’ve never made this one from scratch, but I’d love to make it sometime with the recipe from a book my sister compiled a few years ago.
Dancing around the Christmas tree.
This can be tricky if you keep your tree in a corner, so we usually find a tiny tree and place it in the middle of the room. We sing a few Danish songs like Tingelingelater and fudge our way through them!
Aebleskiver are round pancake balls served with jam, covered in powdered sugar. My great grandma Asta’s recipe is in the Danish Traditions cookbook my sister compiled for me several years ago, so I treasure having this recipe!
Weaving Paper Hearts
I did this a few times when I was little and I think it’s the cutest craft (pretty simple) for ages 5+. You can fill your paper heart basket with candy, or turn it into an ornament for your tree.
If you’d like a template for Valentines day, you can view my template here.
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
My grandpa Bateman would read us this book at Christmastime, so I have tender feelings when I think about this story from Hans Christian Andersen. My daughter likes this version from the Tabernacle Choir. (bonus: watch the story narrated by Rolando Villazon on YouTube)
I know the story is depressing, but I think it instilled some gratitude in me for what I’ve been given and to never take for granted being in a warm and comfortable house.
Are you looking for some new ways to connect yourself and your family to your heritage? Take a look at my Etsy shop that has several custom gifts you can order to help you cherish your ancestors: