Christmas is an important holiday in Scandinavia. Think of the long, dark, cold winters of the North and you can imagine why the Winter Solstice which arrives just before Christmas is so important since it marks the time when the sun starts coming back. Light and candles are a regular part of the celebration as are wonderful holiday foods. Christmas crafts are bright and colorful. Folk traditions are still alive. For example, the Jul Nisse or Jul Tomten brings presents but he is more of an elf or gnome rather than our jolly old Saint Nicholas.
The library has a good collection of books with Scandinavian Christmas crafts for anyone who is looking for homemade Christmas ideas. Christmas Crafts Scandinavian Style is by two Norwegian crafters Tone Stenklov and Miriam Morken and it has a nice selection of craft projects that are not too difficult. Another book with uncomplicated but attractive projects is Swedish Christmas Crafts by Helene Lundberg. A Swedish Christmas by Caroline Wendt contains crafts, recipes and decorations to fill your home with a Scandinavian flavor. Handmade Scandinavian Christmas by Hege Barnholt has over 120 crafty Christmas projects. And who could resist Arne & Carlos, those whimsical crafters, whose book 55 Christmas Balls to Knit is sure to inspire any knitter?
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