Ok ... I'll admit it ... when we went to the American Swedish Institute, I broke the rules ... I took pictures even though we weren't supposed to. But ... I only did it in the gift shop and no one stopped me so could it have been wrong? There's something about the way the Scandinavian countries decorate for Christmas that I find intriguing. I'm not sure if it's the tomptens or the Lucia tradition or what but they just speak to me somehow. Could be that influence from living in Minnesota where every second person shares the heritage!
Everything about this table setting was charming ... the frosted glassware was so pretty and really set off the red decorations. Candles seem to be in every setting and were usually red or white. Loved the table runner ... it was handcrafted in Sweden.
These handcarved tulips were in lots of places in the gift shop. Not sure what the significance was ... they looked best en masse so I bypassed them as I'd have wanted to take every one home with me!
More tulips and a pretty container, too!
Small skinny table top trees dotted the gift shop. They had darling little ornaments hanging on them and in baskets spread out on the tables by the trees ... way too many to choose from. The view through the window is the main entrance to the mansion that houses the Swedish Institute ... a truly beautiful building.
Dala horses in every shape size and color!
Chickens, too! Hmmm ... who do I know that's a hen and chicks collector?
Aren't the candleholders with the kids cute? All that red and white again ... perfect for the holidays.
The tompten's are darling little elves ... there were lots of variations available. One of my favorite things in my own collection of holiday decorations is a tompten that I painted ... pretty embroidered decorations and a layered beard. They've always seemed magical to me ... these gnome elves ... totally irresistable!
And finally something I just love the most ... St Lucia! Ok ... a pretty modern version but look how fun they are? There is something so wonderful about the ceremony of St Lucia Day ... the oldest daughter waking up the family to rolls and coffee with her crown of light. If you haven't gone to one of these ceremonies, you really should. The Gammelgarden Museum inScandia has a beautiful ceremony on the Sunday closest to December 13 ... St Lucia Day. The 6am service in the prairie church is so beautiful ... amazingly the songs sung in Swedish are easy to follow. And it's all more wonderful if it snows! I need to go this year to get myself in the holiday spirit. Need to add getting a reservation to my list!
Probably time to dig out our holiday decorations and get with the season!