It’s been a couple of years since I shared my holiday gift guide for travel lovers, and so I thought it was time for an update. But seeing as this is a winter of staying cosy inside instead of traveling the globe, I thought I could draw inspiration from the people who know the most about cosy winters: the Nordics!
I’ve already talked about how living in Norway taught me to love cold, dark winters. People up here really do know how to winter. So what better gift this winter than something Nordic inspired? Here are my top picks:
There’s nothing as cosy and soft as a brand new blanket, which is exactly why a blanket makes the perfect gift. Of course Norwegians are all about the wool blankets like this one, but if wool isn’t soft enough for you (or if you it’s too warm) these Fair Isle blankets look super cosy.
Moomins are the Finnish fairy tale creatures that look like white hippos but apparently are actually trolls, because Finland. And does every Nordic household have a set of Moomin mugs? I think the answer is yes.
For as long as I can remember my dad has always asked for socks for Christmas, and up until about five years ago I thought he was joking. What happened five years ago? I moved to Norway, and now the best present anyone could give me is a cosy pair of wool socks, bonus points if it’s in a pretty, Nordic pattern.
Scandinavian berry candle
Everyone in the Nordics is a berry picker. No summer/autumn trip to the forest is complete without gathering at least a handful of blueberries and I am always keeping an eye out for cloudberries on my summertime hikes in the mountains. So to me the smell of berries is the smell of Scandinavia.
And you know what else everyone in the Nordics loves? Candles!
This Scandinavian berry candle looks like the perfect way to bring a touch of the Nordics into your home.
If you’re at a dinner party and your host brings out cloudberries and ice cream for dessert you know this is a special night. They’ve either picked those berries by hand from their secret mountain spot, or paid a fortune for a small tub, as they’re only found in the wild. So what better way to show someone you love them than giving them their own pot of Arctic gold? You can find cloudberry jam on Amazon here.
And if preserves aren’t your jam, this Finnish cloudberry liquor also looks very tasty.
You know I love a Nordic sweater. I have an entire post about my favorite Nordic sweaters here, but if you want to give someone an authentic Norwegian gift you can’t go wrong with a Dale of Norway sweater.
Norwegian waffle iron
Norwegian waffles are of course far superior to Belgian waffles, but to make them you do need a special type of waffle iron. These waffles are thin and heart shaped! Just be sure to add cardamom to your waffle batter and they will be perfect.
I also included the FOREO LUNA in my previous gift guide a couple of years ago, and I still think it’s amazing. This Swedish born silicon facial brush works like actual magic.
And if you want some more affordable Nordic skincare, look no further than Lumene. This Finnish beauty brand is especially popular for their Arctic hydrating products, as Finns certainly know a thing or two about keeping skin hydrated in tough winter conditions.
Light therapy lamp
If you really want to do as the Nordics do this holiday season, get your loved one (and yourself!) a light therapy lamp. It’s the kind of thing someone might not splurge on for themselves, but it can make a huge difference to their daily life this winter. I have this one and use it every day and notice a huge difference. I used to get really sleepy during the dark days, but once I started using my light therapy lamp I felt totally fine.
There are also some cheaper versions on Amazon here.
If you really want to feel Norwegian this Christmas, break out the aquavit. Seriously, I’ve never been to a Christmas party in Norway where a bottle of aquavit didn’t make an appearance. If you’ve never tried aquavit before I can’t promise you’ll love it – it generally gets mixed reviews from foreign visitors here. But if you do love it you’ll know you’re a true Nordic!
The week after Christmas is for reading all the books you received for Christmas, right? If you want to continue with the Nordic theme here, I’ve compiled a list of my top Norwegian novels that are available in English.
This one isn’t for the vegans, but up here we love our sheepskins. I have several, including a sheepskin chair that I spend most of my time in, no exaggeration. This Icelandic sheepskin is beautiful and would work perfectly as a rug, or draped over a bench or chair.
I know watches are always a popular gift, so why not go Scandinavian with a Danish Skagen watch?
And finally, while it pains me a little to put Swedish chocolate on this list when Norwegian milk chocolate is far superior, Daim chocolate is a lot easier to find. And okay fine, it’s delicious.