Many Christmas traditions in Sweden incorporate aspects of the pre-Christian holiday of Jul. Additionally, St. Lucia's Day, celebrated on Dec. 13, is very much a part of the holiday celebrations. There are a number of crafts suitable for kids that are based on the Christmas traditions in Sweden. Children can use their Swedish Christmas crafts to help decorate the house for the holidays.
The woven heart is one of the most common Christmas decorations found in Sweden. While the exact origins are unknown, these hearts are easy and inexpensive to construct. The only materials needed are paper, scissors and glue or tape to attach the handles. For a more complicated version, wool felt may be used. Red and white are the traditional colors used at Christmas, but other color options may be explored.
Paper chains using paper with gold or silver foil are used as tree garlands and around doors in Sweden. They are constructed differently from American paper chains. Children will need to trace a pattern on the paper before beginning to cut. These paper chains have some creative options, such as using rectangular links or double circle links.
In pre-Christian times, Jul was a celebration of the winter solstice. The Swedish people looked forward to spring and the renewal of crops. The straw used in many Swedish Christmas crafts symbolizes the harvest. While many Swedish straw crafts require specialized knowledge, kids can create their own beautiful star-shaped ornaments using sheaves of wheat straw and red thread.
The Dala Horse is a traditional Swedish symbol seen throughout the year and especially at Christmastime. Traditional Dala Horses were carved from wood and painted as toys for children. Children can make their own Dala Horse Christmas crafts without the dangers of wood carving by crafting a felt Dala Horse ornament. Red is the traditional color for Dala Horses, but other colors are acceptable.
St. Lucia Crown
Traditionally, the Crown of St. Lucia is created from evergreen lingonberry branches and tall white candles. However, there are many ways to interpret this design. St. Lucia Crowns make excellent centerpieces for a Christmas table. If there are plans for anyone to wear the crown, do not use real candles and do not light them because of safety concerns. Electric candles or representations of candles are safe and beautiful.