It’s been dark and stormy in my part of the world, with earth-rattling thunder, straight-to-the-ground bolts of lightning, and sheets of rain that drenched in seconds. Simply marvelous!
Before the storms arrived, Bear and I spent a delightful morning at a Danish Christmas Market in Mount Gravatt.
Although it is still odd for me to celebrate Christmas when I’m in a sundress sweltering in the shade, this market was just the thing for reviving holiday spirits.
Walking past palm trees and tropical flowers, we entered a building bursting with Christmas cheer. Musicians played traditional Scandinavian instruments and led the crowd in rousing singalongs of jaunty Christmas tunes. Tables were covered with all the things that mean Christmas to me and anyone else growing up with Danish traditions: white candles, red and white flags hung from picks and along garlands, paper stars, woven heart baskets to fill with treats and hang from the Christmas tree.
I loved it.
I especially loved experiencing it with Bear, introducing him to the culture and traditions I grew up with.
We wandered among the stalls, pointing out the items we’d return for. Some of our Danish Viking friends we know from our medieval adventures were there, and it was so fun to have a good chat in real life.
Then it was time for a bite to eat. We had red Danish sausages on fresh bread rolls topped with good Danish mustard and crispy fried onions, followed by æbleskiver, lovely little pancake balls topped with jam and powdered sugar.
We even braved a sip of Gammel Dansk Liqueur, a Danish bitters made up of 30 different herbs and fruits. It is astoundingly awful, but my Danish friends swear by its healing properties. Now that we know it’s meant to be viewed as a medicinal tonic rather than a delicious beverage, we might give it another go one day.
Before heading for home we picked up a few treasures: felt Danish flags to decorate cakes and pastries with, and a little Christmas doll of wood and felt with a tiny knitted scarf. I’ve dubbed her Maddy. I also picked up fresh poppy seed bread rolls and Bear surprised me with a couple of Danish advent candles.
The pièce de résistance was a gigantic, and I do mean gigantic, Danish kringle. Seriously, I had to use both hands to carry it, letting each side rest on my forearms so it wouldn’t break.
Kringle is a pretzel-shaped delicacy made of wienerbrød (Danish pastry) and filled with marzipan, fruit, or nuts, then sprinkled with coarse sugar. It is, in a word, divine. Particularly with a cup of coffee.
We had such a good time at the Danish Christmas Market, and can’t wait to return next year. It’s officially part of the Bear and Poppet Christmas Tradition.
What is one of your favorite Christmas traditions? xo