“We’re going to THY!” I have been screaming this for the past week and a half every time someone asks me what I’m doing for Christmas abroad in Denmark.
Peter has graciously–and cautiously–taken in two wild and very foreign creatures into his family’s Danish home: a Canadian Girl and a Spanish Girl.
Peter calls us skøre piger in Danish (crazy girls.)
A Danish Christmas is straight out of a fairytale: so so so many cookies (brunkager, pebernødder, klejner, more cookies primarily made out of butter, etc.), marzipan that we make ourselves on the 23rd (lille jul aften)–rolled in nuts, dipped in chocolate, folded into nougat, molded into the shape of a cat, dancing and singing around the Christmas tree–real candles lit on the Christmas tree (juletræ) as we’re dancing around it in a holiday frenzy (Pat and I were screaming in fear at this point), a ridiculous amount of food at every meal, making Christmas ornaments with the whole family (folding Danish hearts and stars), shots of schnapps taken at appropriate celebratory intervals–“Skål!”–during Christmas lunch (julefrokost)/every lunch, an onslaught of potatoes, Danish Christmas beer (juleøl/julebryg), the most adorable of traditions–like whoever finds the almond in the risalamande (Danish rice pudding) wins a prize (or traditionally, a marzipan pig. And of course I won.), visiting extended family for more julefrokost, litres and litres of wine, and a lot of basking in each other’s presence in front of an open fire–the essence of Danish hygge.
And by the way, Thy is beautiful. I am literally just frolicking in a winter wonderland right now–casual sledding after julefrokost, leisurely walks through the snowy countryside, quiet moments by the coast with a frigid breeze, and driving through a living postcard of snow-capped evergreens and fields that go on forever.
And I get to spend Christmas with the cutest of pies. Undoubtedly, two of my favourite people in the entire kartoffel-filled, wrapped in bacon, smeared with butter, involved in rationality, smelling of freshly baked bread, Danish universe. I’m also very much in love with Peter’s parents. Very much–as I happen to be easily smitten by bountiful food spreads, gentle and hospitable souls, homemade jam, roadtrips, and people with a penchant for fine cheese and excelling in the art of relaxing during the holidays. I have since, on a number of occasions, casually suggested to Peter that his parents adopt me. Because, let’s be real–who doesn’t love homemade jam???????
Glædelig jul from
Spain Catalonia, Denmark, and Canada!
Det er meget hyggeligt.
20+ people at our annual Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve! A combination of the best — our Chinese side of the family x my uncle’s Italian, Hungarian, and German side. I’ve donned it my Chinese Italian Fusion Family.
Featuring marzipan everything–chocolate covered, as tart filling, in the shape of Christmas paraphernalia, as garnishes in novelized shapes, as a bar, topped with candied fruit..
My aunt’s boyfriend’s dad who is Scottish (and whose name is Alistair–like how fucking badass is that?), brought some of his homemade eggnog and oh my God, I should really curl up into a small ball and hide in shame because it was literally 80% bourbon, 20% eggnog and I could not handle it. Alistair laughed at me in his badass entirety and claimed this was his lighter recipe (just imagine this interaction in a heavy Scottish accent.)
The fibre optic Christmas tree from my third dinner — my aunt clearly doesn’t fuck around.
I almost ate the plastic decorations on this yule log cake, because unlike everything else on the freaking table it was not actually made of marzipan.
Opened a damn cookie factory in my girl’s kitchen.. She made like four dozen cookies, while I made mango sago (quite successfully actually), and then reverted back to helping her turn sugar cookies into tiny Santas into regular cookies into chocolate stuffed cookies into.. just too many kinds of cookies. We were near hysterics during those few hours because we were both so tired and the cookies were not looking like they did on Pinterest.
And the free-flowing wine at my family’s Christmas dinners is how I know we’re all related.