Straw Decorated Christmas Tree

Only a perfect specimen of balsam fir will be worthy to bear upon its branches the fragile perfection of the straw figures that come to us from Sweden. Collecting figures and forms for such a tree would prove a delightful hobby the year round. In these works of art are contained sermons of the simplest and deepest concepts of life.

When you see the straw figures and the geometric designs decorating this tree, listen with your heart and hear the message they bring to you. Straw, to remind us the Read more

Christmas Tree for the Birds

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 02:  A bird sits in a tr...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The people of Norway and Sweden have for centuries observed the quaint custom of preparing a Christmas tree for the birds. It is made from a sheaf of choice grain which has been carefully stored from the time of the harvest. The day before Christmas, the grain is tied to the end of a long pole, carried into the yard, and placed near the house to attract the birds who, they believe, bring happiness and good fortune to those within. No family would consider celebrating its own Christmas until the birds had first been provided for.

Could you and your children find a more delightful way to express the spirit of Christmas than to follow these customs?

I am sure that the children and even Dad will want to help make the trimmings and set up the tree. Don’t be surprised if fixing the birds’ tree becomes as happy a time as Read more

Christmas in Sweden

Traditional flower Christmas decoration of Sweden

Image via Wikipedia

In Sweden, the celebration begins on December 13, St. Lu­cia’s day. The foreigner in Stockholm on the morning of that day might be surprised to see as his fellow passengers on an early streetcar young men and women in long white robes, the women carrying candles, the young men carrying silver stars and wearing tall hats of silver paper. These are the “Lucia brides” and “Star boys” who on St. Lucia’s day serenade their friends with a “Lucia” song and offer them refreshments. Since December 13 was earlier supposed to be the darkest day of the year, the many lights were intended to drive away the dark­ness.

The Lucia celebration has become quite generally a Read more

Vort Bread Recipe from Swedan

Yeast bread dough, ready for proving

Image via Wikipedia

The Swedish household seems to specialize in fancy breads for Christmas-saffron bread, Vortlimpor, fennel bread, cara­way bread. One loaf is to be shaped like a boar’s head, deco­rated, and allowed to remain on the dining room table throughout the holiday. This is regarded as a prayer for next year’s harvest. The vort bread seems the most important of these many varieties.

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