When November starts I feel its time to start preparing for the holidays. I’d like to start earlier because the days leading up to Christmas I feel are the most enjoyable, the holidays in itself are enjoyable but there’s not nearly as much creativity going. I do love decorating the place and finding new adorable Christmas decorations either from designers around the world or easy DIY projects.
A design team called Hafnir made this Christmas tree, it actually is similar to an old DIY project from ages ago in Iceland, this is how the christmas trees looked like when my grandmother was young and pine trees were not so common in rural areas. I love the simplicity of it.
I always intend to make time for christmas crafting but sadly it always ends up being either last minute and not so enjoyable or a thought saved for next christmas. This tiny tree decoration tutorial I saw at noodle-head.com is a great start for either christmas tree, gift decoration or a garland.
These advent calendar boxes are super cute!
Simple and cute idea even for the little ones, just trim the ribbons in a tree shape. Idea from firefliesandmudpies.com
Christmas means back to basics for me.
I usually go to quite length to make the christmas for my boys that I want them to remember basically because I’m so fond of my own christmas childhood memories.
The christmas traditions in Iceland are quite strong, like they probably are in most other countries. But I think that being on an isolated island for so long (it was only post-WWI that Iceland in general got connected to the world) has made traditions that sound really weird. Like our 13 Santa Clauses or the icelandic Yule Lads, each one of them with their own name and characteristics. They come one by one on the nights before christmas, the first one on the 12th of december. The kids place one of their shoe in the window and in the morning they find a special treat, if they’ve behaved good. There are rumours that naughty children only found a potatoe in their shoe in the morning, not a piece of chocolate or some small toy, but i’ve never experienced that myself 🙂
They used to be naughty themselves, their characteristics are connected to thievery and teasing and even voyeurism but today they are mostly silly and funny lads who now have a more international appearance, they show up in christmas parties in the red uniform with white beard and black boots.
After christmas they go home, one by one each day untill Jan. 6th when we claim that christmas is officially over this season.
These are drawings that I made a few years back, showing six of the thirteen lads. More info on them here if you’re interested.
My son Emil with a friendly Yule Lad in Dimmuborgir Iceland. It’s one of the rare places that they can be seen in their traditional uniform, which consists mostly of woolen mittens, sweaters, pants and leather shoes. Dimmuborgir is a unique place with amazing rock formation, great to hike through during summer but very scary on cold winter nights.