As a global holiday, Christmas is observed by millions of people with varying traditions and practices. In Sweden, Swedish Christmas traditions begin on the first Sunday of Advent and continue throughout the next four weeks. By including other traditions in your Christmas celebrations, children can gain a new perspective on Christmas.
Video of the Day
Make Tomte Swedish Christmas Decorations
Tomte are mischievous, solitary spirits who protect and look after the farmstead, emerging around Christmas to prepare the home. Add a Swedish Christmas decoration to your tree with a Tomte ornament.
You'll need a 2-inch wooden ball and a small wooden bead, stem wire, red felt and fuzzy white yarn. First, create the hat by cutting two pie-shaped pieces from the felt that are large enough to fit around the 2-inch wooden ball when put together. Stitch or hot glue the two felt pieces together. Drill a small hole into the wooden ball at an angle with a 7/64 drill bit or whichever size is necessary to fit the stem and then glue the stem in place.
Next, create a beard by bunching the yarn together and gluing around the ball, covering the ball entirely. Place the felt hat over the stem and glue it over the beard. Then glue the small wooden bead for the nose. Lastly, stitch a ribbon to the hat and the ornament is complete.
Make a St. Lucia Day Crown
On December 13, Swedes celebrate St. Lucia Day, which is a 400-year-old custom that began as a Christian feast day. On this day, Luciatåg processions are televised and performed by Swedish kids in schools and churches. These processions include a Lucia who wears a wreath crown with electric candles on her head. To make a wreath crown, you'll need a sturdy paper plate, green tissue paper, white coffee filters, markers and scissors.
You can make your own crown or St. Lucia Day hat. Begin by cutting out the center of a sturdy paper plate that is large enough to sit on top of someone's head. Then, wrap the green tissue paper around the plate to create a green wreath. Glue the paper in place and set it aside to dry.
Once dry, decorate the wreath with markers and other decorations, such as ribbons, being careful not to rip the paper. Make fake candles by rolling the coffee filters into a candle shape and then glue them in place. Once dry, color the tips of the filters with markers to resemble a flame. Form a base on the bottom of the fake candles by cutting a slit and then bending the ends apart. Glue the base of the fake candles to the wreath. Allow the crown to dry before wearing it.
Make a St. Lucia Day Star Boy Hat
In addition to Lucia, boys would play star boys in the St. Lucia processions. Wearing tall cone hats decorated with stars, star boys carry stars on a stick.
You can try your hand at making a star boy hat. You'll need construction paper, poster board, scissors, glue, colored pencils, crayons, markers and glitter. Cut the poster board to size and roll it into a cone large enough to fit someone's head. Glue the cone together and trim any uneven bits from the bottom.
Cut stars from the construction paper and paste them to the cone. Continue to decorate the hat with markers, crayons, colored pencils or glitter. Allow the hat to dry before wearing it.