Guest Author - Alissa Moy
Take some time to study about the traditions for the people in Denmark this holiday season. The folks who celebrate Christmas in Denmark do so using as much light as possible. The extremely short days and lack of sun/daylight makes this a holiday to celebrate light. To dispel the gloominess of the seemingly endless winter, the Danes light so many candles that the nation consumes more candles per capita than any other country on earth. Lighted Christmas candles appear everywhere during this festive season- in homes, schools, and churches. The Advent calendar and countdown to Christmas is not only important in churches, but it is also important for families. Many children create their own homemade calendars for one another, filling tiny made drawers with gifts such as sweets and small toys.
The sharing of holiday cheer with friends and family is a huge part of the Christmas season in Denmark, and nothing is more important than having freshly baked Christmas goodies for all visitors to eat and bring home. Many people in Denmark believe that sending a visitor away during the Christmas season without a taste of the family's good cheer will bring sadness. In fact,it is a very old belief in many parts of Denmark that a visitor who leaves the house without being fed may carry away the Christmas spirit. Therefore, it is not hard to find a home without sweets and treats during the Christmas season!
Here is a recipe for a sweet treat made in Denmark, called Kransekage, or almond cookies.
8 ounces almond paste
1 c. confectioners sugar
1 – 2 egg whites
Whole almonds for decoration
Combine the almond paste and the confectioners sugar. Add the egg white(s) a little at a time to bind the mixture. Roll the dough into balls. Place them on a buttered cookie sheet.
Slightly flatten the cookies and place a whole almond on top.
Bake the cookies in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Christmas in Denmark is double the enjoyment, as December 25 and December 26 are both holidays in Denmark, and called Christmas Day and Second Christmas Day. This is to allow plenty of time to visit with all family and friends for Christmas. Try baking up a batch of the Kransekage with your homeschooler, and teach him or her about the holiday fun in Denmark!
Here are some wonderful books for teaching your child about not only Christmas, but also other holidays celebrated around the world.