A Very Nordic Night In

December 15, 2020

Christmas is nearly here, but for most of us it’s going to be a quieter one than usual. Festive parties may be restricted to Zoom and Christmas dinner parties may be small, but this year has given us the perfect excuse to slow down and relax. Take it easy this Christmas, and make the most of the break by enjoying cosy nights in at home. Here are our suggestions for how to take inspiration from the Scandinavian countries to enjoy your own Nordic-inspired night in.

Light candles

That cosy glow that we all love at this time of year has strong associations with Nordic winter customs and traditional mid-winter celebrations. Banish the ‘big lights’ and light your home with small lamps, candles, twinkling fairy lights and a roaring fire to evoke that Scandinavian aesthetic. There’s no such thing as too many candles when creating a Nordic night in – just don’t go overboard on scented candles, stick to one fragrance. Place tealights in votives on shelves, light dinner candles on the mantelpiece, keep an advent candle burning on the window sill and burn your favourite festive candle on your coffee table to create a warm and cosy ambiance.

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Get cosy

Winters are cold in the Nordic countries, so those that live there are experts on cosying up indoors. You don’t need your own sauna to keep warm like the Scandinavians do – but there are several tips you can pick up from them. Have plenty of blankets, throws and sheepskins around your home, conveniently placed to drape around yourself on cold winter nights. If you have a fireplace, light fires in the evening rather than turning on the heating, sitting in front of the flames wrapped in a blanket to enjoy a card game or a good book. Draw the curtains, close the doors and embrace a cosy feeling.

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Enjoy traditional treats

Throw your diet out of the window – Christmas is the time for indulgence! If you’re recreating a Nordic night in, shun the mince pies and chocolate coins and try some Scandinavian festive treats. Yule porridge, sweet saffron buns and gingerbread are all traditional Nordic sweet treats – look up the recipes online to make your own. And of course you can’t have a Nordic Christmas celebration without glögg – their version of mulled wine. We actually prefer the Scandinavian recipe (lots of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves) for its spiced taste!

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Mark the solstice

The Nordic countries tend to celebrate the festive season in traditional ways that were originally conceived as mid-winter or winter solstice celebrations. Consider adopting some of these traditions this year, as a way to be more in touch with nature and to focus on other elements of the seasons other than what is waiting for you beneath the tree. Try carol singing, burning a yule log (just a large log that you place on your fire), and gather around the fire telling festive ghost stories and folk tales. This year, the 21st of December is the winter solstice – mark the day by rising early to watch the sunrise and lighting candles to welcome the days beginning to turn longer and brighter again.

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Decorate your homes

Don’t stop at the Christmas tree! Nordic traditions call for bringing more foliage into your home and going all out (in a stylish Scandi way) with your festive decorations. Decorating your home is a great way to enjoy a night in this Christmas – the decorating itself is a lovely activity to enjoy as a household and you will then be surrounded by festive decor for the remainder of the holidays. Try drawing festive scenes on your window with a white window pen, or making your own Christmas stars out of printed wrapping paper. Have plenty of fairy lights – not only on the tree but stylishly strung in the window or on a staircase. Invest in advent stars that you can reuse each year – these paper or metal stars are traditionally hung in windows throughout the festive period with lights inside for a subtle glow. Greenery such as wreathes and garlands brings the outdoors in with a Scandinavian twist added by the addition of white hyacinths.

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A Very Nordic Night In | Rose & Grey
A Very Nordic Night In

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