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A Little Danish Christmas

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

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Krista - Isn’t it so crazy, Nancy?! It seems like each day there’s something new and crazy with the weather. The kringle is divine warmed up. 🙂

Krista - Would you believe it’s more like the size of three of your heads, Anna! It’s seriously the biggest pastry I’ve ever seen. 🙂 Kicking some new traditions into play sounds very fun indeed. 🙂

Krista - I love your description of the Natural History Museum, Vannessa. 🙂 What a marvelous tradition that is. 🙂

Nancy - What’s going on with the weather? Storms in QLD, fires in WA & SA it’s bonkers. I bet that kringle is divine warmed up for breakfast isn’t it? No Christmas traditions here – this year Rich will be working and it’s just the two of us for dinner.

Anna Johnston - How wonderful you were able to share your family traditions and some of what you were raised with, with Bear. 🙂
I am blown away at the size of that danish pastry, perhaps its the photo, but it looks as large as my head.
We dont really have any Christmas traditions, I am normally working or traveling the world. This year is the first I will be home, so might just kick some new traditions into play.

Vannessa@Luxuria - Oooh! I love anything Scandinavian. But like you, it would be really hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit in the sun. One of our Christmas traditions is hitting The Natural History Museum in London which has an ice rink, hot chocolate stalls and a Christmas market. It’s really transformed in the winter. In fact there are lots of these lovely little set-ups all over London at this time of year. I also have to make a customary trip to Fortnum & Masons to check out all the unusual foodie goodies 🙂

Krista - Molbaks sounds like a lovely place, @disqus_WseMqaTPwi:disqus 🙂 And I’ve been to Larsens for kringle! Such a delicious place. 🙂

Krista - They were pretty powerful, @@liz_posmyk:disqus 🙂 But they brought lovely rain and we sure are grateful. 🙂

Jackie Smith - Back in the Northwest we have a plant/nursery/flower/giftshop called Molbaks and they decorate to the hilt at Christmas. Teaming with Larson’s Bakery in Ballard, they serve hot coffee and apple cider along with slices of Danish kringle to their customers. That has been my Christmas tradition but since I am in Greece, guess I will have to think up some new traditions!

Liz Posmyk - Wow, I saw the storms… well, vision of the storms, up your way! Love these little decorations xx

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