Scandinavian Christmas decor: ideas for this Advent

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A blanket of snow quietly covers the landscape outside the window. Candles flicker in the house, the smell of home-baked biscuits fills the air and you sit on the sofa wrapped up in a warm woollen blanket. This is how we like to imagine the Advent season. And even if we don’t always have the snow we might wish for, we can still decorate our home appropriately.

What makes Scandinavian Christmas decorations so special?

Scandinavian Christmas decorations natural materials
Scandinavian Christmas decorations made from natural materials

Scandinavian Christmas decorations are one thing above all: cosy and warm. It is achieved by using mainly natural materials and working a lot with light. Wooden decorations, fir branches and woolen blankets immediately create a Nordic Christmas atmosphere. This is complemented by the traditional Christmas colours of red, white and gold.

In addition to these decorations, which fit into any home, there are some very nice Scandinavian customs and peculiarities that we like to look at. The Christmas elf in particular, Jultomte or Nisse in Swedish, is a tradition that is especially fun for children.

Nordic Christmas lighting: candles and fairy lights

What makes the dark winter more contemplative than flickering candles or a warm string of lights in the window? The traditional Advent wreath can be perfectly integrated into the overall winter decorations.

Especially when it gets dark earlier and light later, many different light sources can help us to get into the Christmas spirit.

In Scandinavia, Lucia, the festival of lights, is celebrated on this occasion. Every year on 13 December, saffron buns, the so-called Lussekatter, are baked and Lucia parades take place. The procession is preceded by a girl with a candle crown (nowadays usually electric for safety reasons). This is accompanied by gingerbread and, for the adults, Glögg. You can find out more in our article on public holidays in Sweden.

If you want to bring more light into your Christmas decorations, you can use electric candles as well as real candles. Fairy lights and other illuminated decorations, such as table lamps or stars for the window, are a good way to light up your home safely.

Scandinavian Christmas decorations made of wood

The Scandinavian interior design style is characterised by its affinity for natural materials such as wood or linen. Nordic Christmas decorations are only too happy to make use of this. Winter greenery in particular, such as fir branches, can be found in door wreaths, window decorations and Christmas arrangements.

But wood is also used to create beautiful and sustainable decorations. Figures for the Christmas tree, small Christmas trees to stick together, candle holders and much more are made from the material. This not only creates nostalgia, but is also long-lasting and can perhaps even be passed on to the next generation at some point, especially when it comes to lovingly designed decorations.

Dala horses

Scandinavian wooden Christmas decoration Dala horse
The red Dala horse suits the Christmas season.

The Dala horse is not only iconic for Sweden at Christmas time. The small red wooden horses originate from the Dalarna region in central Sweden and were intended as children’s toys. Their production can be traced back to the 17th century.

Even if Dala horses are not exclusively used for Christmas, they are still a good choice if you are looking for a Swedish-style Christmas tree decoration. They also make an excellent gift for Swedish fans – and there are certainly plenty of other people who are only too happy to take these little horses to their hearts at Christmas.

They are suitable as decorations all year round, but their red colour also blends in perfectly with Scandinavian-style Christmas decorations.

Scandinavian Christmas decorations made from fabric

In addition to wood, natural textiles are also in demand for Christmas decorations. Whether warm blankets, cosy cushions or Christmas runners and tablecloths – Scandinavian Christmas decorations made of fabric not only integrate wonderfully, but are also practical. Apart from this, there are also pendants, Christmas stockings and Christmas figures such as gnomes, geese or angels made of fabric.

Sew and craft Scandinavian Christmas decorations: DIY ideas in Nordic style

Sewing and crafting Scandinavian Christmas decorations is also very popular. If you enjoy crafting or simply want to try your hand at creativity, Scandinavian Christmas decorations are the perfect choice. Even beginners will find plenty of DIY instructions for Nordic-style Christmas decorations. You can discover numerous creative ideas various books.

Nordic window decoration

Isn’t it marvellous when you can observe the decorations in the windows during a winter walk? And you don’t just brighten up the Advent season for others, a window picture, for example, also looks inviting, cosy and friendly when you get home.

Decorating windows with homemade snowflakes or window paint can be a great activity during Advent, especially with children. But other window decorations also look great in the windows and on the windowsills.

Fairy lights, wreaths and wooden decorations are particularly popular. Illuminated decorations in particular create an extraordinary effect on dreary winter evenings during the Advent season. And you might even brighten up a stranger’s journey home.

Jultomtar: the Swedish Christmas elves

The tradition of the Jultomtar, also known as Nisse, comes from a time when a large part of the Scandinavian population still lived on farms. He was a kind of house Father Christmas who was supposed to watch over the farm and be able to talk to animals. In contrast to our tradition, however, he is depicted more as an elf. On Christmas Eve, the children would traditionally prepare porridge or rice pudding.

The Jultomte was said to play tricks if he felt disturbed. Even if the plate of porridge fails to materialise, the gnome is said to enjoy teasing the inhabitants of the farm. If you would like to adopt this tradition, there are gnome doors that you can use to make a small entrance. Your personal Christmas elf will then live there.

You can find the gnome itself as a Christmas decoration as a Christmas tree ornament and decorative figure in many different designs. They are characterised by their long white beard, bulbous nose and long pointed cap. There are also instructions on how to make them yourself.


Have you ever wondered where the little goat made of straw that so often hangs on Christmas trees comes from? This is the Yule log, another Scandinavian tradition. The tradition of a billy goat actually comes from pagan customs, but has been taken up in several Nordic Christmas traditions.

These range from handing out presents in a goat costume, to a group of children singing carols, to hiding small billy goats made of straw in the neighbour’s yard.

Scandinavian Christmas crockery

Not only do tablecloths with Christmas colours and motifs belong on the table at Christmas time, but also the matching tableware. Whether for the Christmas dinner itself or for biscuits, cocoa and glögg during the Advent season – beautiful plates and cups create twice the atmosphere and anticipation.

Scandinavian christmas crockery
Christmas crockery tastes particularly good during the festive season.

When it comes to motifs, Scandinavian brands like to take inspiration from the Nordic winter landscape, so trees, fir branches, reindeer and moose are very popular. Other popular motifs are gnomes, stars, Christmas baubles and hearts. In terms of colour, the Scandinavian design of Christmas tableware mainly sticks to white, while highlights are usually typically wintery red, green or gold.

Well-known brands that have Christmas crockery in their range include Kähler, Royal Copenhagen and Wik & Walsøe. However, the Finnish brands Arabia and Muurla are also popular with young and old with their wintery Moomin motifs.

Scandinavian Christmas and glögg cups

When it’s cold and dark outside in the winter months, there are few things nicer than sitting inside in the warmth and enjoying a cosy cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, mulled wine or glögg. The hot drink tastes twice as good from a matching Christmas mug.

But the pretty Scandinavian Christmas mugs can do even more – they are a quick and easy way to decorate your home, for example by filling them with small fir branches or other wintery natural materials and small figures.

The Scandinavian-style Christmas tree

A widespread tradition and for many a nostalgic part of their Christmas season: decorating the Christmas tree.

Scandinavian Christmas tree decorations

Scandinavian Christmas decorations Christmas tree
Wooden figures on the Christmas tree look cosy.

If you want to incorporate the Scandinavian style into your Christmas tree decorations, you should focus on Scandinavian tree decorations made of wood, straw and fabric, and of course, the lighting should not be forgotten.

Candles are particularly traditional. To reduce the risk of fire, wireless LED candles with remote control are ideal. However, a string of lights is also a beautiful and inexpensive way of illuminating the fir tree.

Alternatives to the classic fir tree

If you don’t want or can’t have a traditional Christmas tree, but still want to celebrate the tradition, there are beautiful and inexpensive alternatives. First and foremost, most people will probably think of an artificial Christmas tree that can be used for many years.

Small versions are particularly popular because they don’t take up much space, are easy to set up and can be stored away without much effort. Such artificial Christmas trees are available in many different sizes and designs. You can then decorate them just like a real Christmas tree, and some items even come with their own decorations.

You can also opt for wooden, metal, porcelain or even fabric versions. Although these are usually not suitable for decorating, they are themselves an atmospheric part of your Christmas decorations.

Danish Christmas decorations: now it’s getting modern

More modern than traditional? Then Danish Christmas decorations in particular are ideal for you.

Of course, there are not only hygge decorations from Denmark and modern items from Sweden, Norway and Finland, but Danish Christmas decorations are particularly often based on a purist style.

The clear shapes that we are familiar with from Scandinavian furnishings are immortalised here, particularly in metal. Brands such as Oyoy, House Doctor and lb Laursen are at the forefront here.

God Jul and have fun decorating!

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