Christmas time is one of the most beautiful periods of the year. Each of us celebrate it with own traditions and rituals which have its roots in our geographical location, our nationality and family background.
I am sure that we are all curious about Christmas traditions in different countries. We travel to Scandinavia and love Scandinavian design in our homes. But how people celebrate Christmas in the nordic region? I had this question on my mind since I have seen the JUL collection of ARCHITECTMADE – the essence of Danish Christmas!
And who can answer this question in the best way? The designer of the Jul collection of course! Nikolaj Klitgaard created timeless series of Christmas decorations which represents the Danish Christmas in a beautiful and unique manner.
Nikolaj Klitgaard was born 1992 and is educated carpenter with a silver medal. His passion for wood began in his childhood. He created his very first pieces in the workshop of his grandfather. No wonder that he is a renowned craftsman already in his young age
Dear Nikolaj, it is a great pleasure to have you with us and to learn more about Danish Christmas.
Please tell us how did you get the idea of creating the Jul collection for Architectmade?
The idea for my 5 Christmas figures (hanging ornaments) came in the fall of 2015 when I needed to find a Christmas present for my mom.
Long time I was thinking about this present and suddenly I got an idea! I thought, that she should have some Christmas decorations. But something special.Something I have made myself.
It should be in a nice box with 5 different kind of Christmas decoration and 5 of each. However, I quickly realized that this was not something you just did in a few months. That is why I first started in January 2016, and then I had a whole year to get the
25 Christmas decorations and a nice box made.
The idea behind the 5 figures is that it should be something that I associated with a classic Christmas decoration just made in a new way. I chose tree because in my opinion it is the best material to work with. To be more precise I have chosen oak.
For the first 25 pieces I have made, I used a wood from some old doors which I had peeled down before. After just over a year of work (because I was only working in my spare time) I was happy to be time. It was Christmas and I had finished the box and 25 pieces of Christmas decorations that I offered to my mum, so she could have it for Christmas and decorate the Christmas tree. Oh, she was so happy about the present when she got it!
The idea of the two standing Christmas ornaments (the Christmas tree and the angle) in teak wood has come together with Architectmade. It was important that the two standing figures looked really nice in a different kind of wood and fitted
in the original idea.
Could you tell us more about Danish Christmas Tradition? What is the most important thing for you during the Christmas season?
I always look forward to the end of the year and happy it is already December. It gets so cold and dark when winter starts, but immediately when we reach December it lights up around the Danish country, and all streets, shops and homes are decorated with
Christmas lights and Christmas decorations. I am most looking forward to the Christmas holidays coming. This holiday involves one of the things that I think is most important in life, namely spending time with family and friends, which is pretty difficult in the busy everyday life.
The Christmas Eve, December 24, I will spend with my family. Every two years with my mom ́s side and every other year with my dad’s side. This year it is with my father and we will be around 20 men who spend Christmas at my grandparents’ house. It is
always well underway when the whole flock is gathered.
We have a very traditional Danish Christmas Eve. It consists of relaxing and socializing with the family in the morning, perhaps a single visit to some family members who can’t join us in the evening. In the afternoon we will go to church to hear about that what we celebrate, namely Jesus birth. After the church we are going to the evening party, this is all about good and traditional food. There is always too much food actually. Pork roast for example. So it is clear, that Dad has spent the whole
day to grill and prepared everything with love. We also get duck, meatballs, white potatoes, browned potatoes, french potatoes, gravy and a lot of accessories.
During the meal we usually play a game, it is about everyone having a Christmas tree light standing in front of them on the table. The light that goes out first and the light that goes out last has won a small package. When we have found a winner of the game, and relaxed a bit, it is time for dessert. Which is “rice à l’amande”, where is an almond hidden. The purpose is to find the almond
There is always a hard fight for the almond and there is no stopping before it is found. Once the almond is found, the lucky winner will receive a package too.
Jul means Christmas in Danish. This collection reflects the essence of Danish Christmas!
After such a great dinner, we have to go out and move our bodies, so the Christmas tree is calling, where we are dancing and singing around it. Add yes, I have to admit that we could probably use some singing lessons, especially for the men, since it
usually ends in everyone laughing of the joy running around the house, singing the song called “nu det jul igen” (Now it is Christmas again), where young and old are running around the house. Then my grandmother reads the Christmas gospel to all
of us just as she always used to do on December 24th.
Now we have come to another pleasant moment – the presents, handed out to each one in the family. We enjoy this moment and continue and very good mood spending a beautiful evening and night.
The following festive days are full of coziness, where we get together with the whole family and friends. These are the most important moments during Christmas season – the precious time with family and friends.
Thank you so much dear Nikolaj for taking us to Denmark and spreading Christmas magic!
I wish you all a wonderful and peaceful Advent.
Arminka aka Petit Sourire
In collaboration with Architectmade