Each year we find ourselves taken by some new tilt on holiday decorations: one year it was Scandi style, with clean-lined ornaments and plenty of charm; other years we’ve looked toward no-cost and small-space decor. Last year, after a late-December trip to the snowy storybook city of Stockholm, I found myself inspired by the (varied) old traditions of western Europe. From France to Sweden to Ireland, here are a few ways to decorate for the holidays like the Europeans do.
England: Trim the mantel.
France: Set out thirteen desserts.
Sweden: Channel Saint Lucia.
Denmark: Invest in festive stamps.
France: Make a pomander.
Ireland: Hang holly and ivy.
Norway: Set out gløgg.
Germany: Add intricate carved-wood scenes.
Austria: Light an advent wreath.
England: Set crackers around the holiday table.
Italy: Have a ceppo.
Portugal: Set out your shoes.
Finland: Feed the birds.
Switzerland: Light a fire.
For more European holiday decor, see 13 Favorites: European Christmas Ornaments. And for more easy holiday decor ideas from the archives, see:
- DIY: Holiday Decor for Small Spaces
- The Simple Life: 10 Christmas Holiday Tips from Tricia Foley
- 10 Favorites: No-Cost Holiday Decor Ideas
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on December 4, 2018.