Sunday, November 29, 2015


December and Christmas itself can be very stressful. The preparations and planning can be particularly challenging if you feel like everything needs to be perfect. At our house we've often gathered most of the family for Christmas Eve – and we have a big family. Having all of us together is incredibly cozy. The farmhouse is buzzing with life and we love the atmosphere of it all. But to be honest, it's tiring as well – probably mostly because I have certain expectations of myself about what our house should like, which food should be served and what decorations need to be made. Because it's customary...

Last year we spent Christmas Eve in our small summerhouse for the first time. It was a very special experience. A lot of things are kind of a given when you celebrate Christmas away from home. Space is a little tight up there so can't fit too many people. There's five of us and then my parents along with my sister and her husband made it a party of nine. That's all we can fit this time of year. I couldn't clean, cook or put up decorations in advance here. We only just got there on December 23. We brought along a single Christmas decoration in the car, a string of lights and a few ornaments, mostly for the tree. We had planned and shopped for a slightly more simplified version of our usual Christmas dinner. Somehow it seemed alright in a different way to have everything be a little more relaxed in these surroundings. We actually ended up spending a lot of the time going for long walks, playing board games with the kids and hanging out in the hot tub. Here we were, out in the woods on the Himmerland peninsula, in 100 °F water under a clear and frosty sky on December 23, Christmas candies and glasses of gløgg in hand. What a life! On the day of Christmas Eve, I couldn't set the table in advance like I usually do. In fact, there was so little room that we couldn't even put the food on the table and we didn't have enough serving plates either so dinner was served buffet style in the kitchen.

We did spend quite a lot of time on one task: finding a tree. We planned to cut down a tree from our own large forest property. "It's full of Christmas trees," Lars said. "It's much cozier to cut down a tree from our own property." Turns out we hadn't really taken a very close look at those trees. They were all warped and crooked. We did finally choose one – which even that same night was named the world's ugliest Christmas tree, its branches long and poky with parts bare and overall very crooked. But it's a tree that we'll never forget and we've had some good laughs about it ever since. Somehow it took on a personality and we had fun with pretending that the tree shouldn't overhear us speaking badly about it or see us laughing at it.

So here's my recommendation to try spending Christmas in a new way. That Christmas was stress-free – it was all cozy family time. This year we're getting the whole family together again for big Christmas Eve. Only this time around, I've lowered my expectations a bit and intend to try to enjoy everything a bit more. I actually think they'll enjoy lending a hand to set the table and cook dinner after we all take a nice, long walk in the woods.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to you! /Vivian

Monday, November 2, 2015

We do like this time of year

Christmas will very soon be here ... As always, the holiday season seems to be suddenly upon us. Once we turn the page to November, the days fly by so you just have to make sure to enjoy the moment. These next two months are an amazing, lovely time. We're surely mentioned it before but we simply love this time of year with everything that it entails. We're so excited to go out gathering things in the woods, visit market and go browsing in cozy stores; talking to people, shopping and finding inspiration. We can't wait to decorate inside and outside the house – to be creative and come up with ideas. We're looking forward to making decorations and planning sweet surprises in the form of Advent gifts, special Christmas presents or hostess gifts. To making and eating all of the delicious foods and heavenly candies. Spend time with friends and family that we may not get to see as often throughout the rest of the year.

You may think we get our fill of Christmas from work. After all, we do "Christmassy" things year-round. We're always working on new ideas, making new designs for Christmas decorations and coming up with article pitches. But that doesn't keep us from going nuts when we finally reach November – at home and at work! This results in lots of wonderful Christmas articles offering a wide range of inspiration, among other things. Dorthe's amazing Advent decorations really take the cake this year in our opinion. They're just so beautiful, unique and each with their own charm. They're each based on a color theme so you can find inspiration regardless of whether you prefer gold, copper, silver, traditional red or more natural tones. You'll also find inspiration for pretty Advent calendars in true Jeanne d'Arc Living style, which we dare say will thrill any recipient.

We hope you'll really enjoy your Christmas preparations and have as much fun with it as we do. /Vivian