23 December 2011

Scandinavian Christmas: The Christmas Heart

It is an old Scandinavian tradition to make woven paper or felt hearts to fill with candies or nuts and put on the Christmas tree. The Christmas tree in Scandinavia is not as lavishly decorated as in the U.S. and instead it has mainly handmade ornaments, the Norwegian flag and Christmas heart baskets. 

Woven heart baskets are typically made from paper or felt in two contrasting colors, usually red and white and every school-age child in Norway knows how to make them by the age of 10. 

Photo: Helena of Craft and Creativity
In fact, you can see the Christmas heart in all Scandinavian nations. Some Danes say it is the symbol of the heart of Christmas (love and respect) and was invented by Hans Christian Andersen in the late 19th Century.  In the past, the hearts filled with treats were the only gifts the children received after dancing around the Christmas tree and singing Christmas carols.

You can find a very easy to follow picture tutorial as well as a template for the Christmas heart basket on the Craft and Creativity blog.

I hope the Scandinavian Christmas heart will bring the love and respect to your house!