Denmark, Life

My Danish Christmas Favorites

Copenhagen is one of the coziest cities ever so you can imagine just how perfect it is at Christmastime. I was lucky enough to be able to experience some Danish Christmas traditions and see Copenhagen beautifully decorated for the holiday season before coming home for Christmas. I made a list of the traditions, places, and treats I love the most. 🙂

1. Christmas Markets

I am pretty sure Nicolas and I visited a total of FIVE Christmas markets in Copenhagen. They are everywhere, and I cannot begin to describe how festive and unique each and every one was. There were so many vendors, yummy treats, decorations, and music. SO cozy.


Gløgg is the Danish version of mulled wine, and it is so delicious. You can find it at Christmas markets or make it yourself at home. It is traditionally made with red wine and a combination of cloves, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar, raisins, and almonds. It is served warm and smells spicy and rich – just like the holidays.

3. The Calendar Candle

I had never heard of this tradition before, but it easily became one of my new favorites. It is a very simple Christmas candle with 24 markings. You burn the candle down a little bit every day until it reaches the 24th. We lit ours every night at dinner and watched it burn throughout the evening. It was so nice.

4. Christmas Eve Dinner

In Denmark, the big Christmas celebration is on Christmas Eve. Nicolas’s family celebrates with a beautiful, big dinner followed by the Danish tradition of dancing around the Christmas tree and exchanging gifts. We had a classic Christmas dinner of roast pork, potatoes with brown gravy, and red cabbage salad at our family gathering in Copenhagen.

5. Risengrød

Along with pork, risengrød is another classic Christmas food. It is basically a rice pudding served warm with cinnamon sugar and a pat of butter on top. For me, it is the definition of comfort food! It can be eaten for breakfast or dinner, and is also fed to the little elf that resides in the attic during the month of December. Which leads me to my next favorite …

6. Elves/ Gnomes

Though they are tiny, elves (or in Danish “nisser”)  play a very big part in Christmas tradition. They can be found in Christmas songs, television shows, decorations, and even in the attic! The elves also help Santa (who lives in Greenland) and sometimes leave small presents for the children throughout the month of December.

7. The City’s Holiday Decorations

Copenhagen is decorated so beautifully during Christmastime. Every street, business, and store participates in making the city festive. My favorite display is on the top of the Hotel D’Angleterre which features icicles and life-size polar bears enjoying a very fancy holiday party!

And that concludes my final Christmas blog post! I hope you enjoyed reading about two things so very dear to my heart – Christmas and Denmark – and that you are enjoying the peaceful week between Christmas and New Years. It is still the most wonderful time of the year. 🙂



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  • Reply Billie Jo December 30, 2016 at 3:53 am


    This is my very favorite post that you have written.
    It is beautiful!
    I am so glad you could share Christmas with Nicolas and is family before sharing it with us here at home!

  • Reply Linda Conley January 2, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Good Morning Madison, hopping over from your moms site (and I keep on forgetting to visit you), what beautiful traditions, thank you for the smiles. Happy New Year to you.

  • Reply Alexandra Lynn-Smith January 2, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Hi, Madison! I came via your Mom’s blog ~ I am so interested to read about a Danish Christmas.
    You have taken some great photos.
    I like the idea of having Christmas Eve as the main celebration. All the best with your blog!

  • Reply Lauren@SimplyLKJ January 2, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Came over from your mom’s blog Madison. So enjoyed reading about your Christmas in Denmark. My dad was raised there. I am thinking I need to find one of those Calendar Candles for next year.

  • Reply Martha Ellen January 2, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    I’m visiting from your mother’s blog as well. How delightful to read about Christmas in Denmark. I love learning about traditions from Europe and all the rich history that it offers. We hope to one day visit Denmark. Thank you for sharing your experience. Happy New Year! ♥

  • Reply Jan January 3, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Everything is so beautifuL! Thanks for sharing. Love those little elves and the BIG Polar Bears! Happy New Year!

  • Reply Randi Danson November 22, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Hi Madison! Loved your blog! I have a brand new daughter-in-law who is Danish. This Christmas I am going to do everything Danish that I can to surprise her. Thanks for the ideas!!

    • Reply Madison Marie December 3, 2018 at 5:19 am

      Hello, Randi! Oh congrats on the new daughter-in-law! I hope she enjoys Christmas in the states. 🙂 I am so glad I could help! My fiance is spending Christmas in the states with me, and I will definitely be incorporating some Danish Christmas traditions into our holiday season as well. xx

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