Yesterday I told you that I received a wonderful package filled with ‘everything good about Danish Christmas customs.’ (A children’s book filled with Danish stories, a bag filled with angel labels and another with traditional Christmas hearts for the tree.)
It is an old Scandinavian tradition to make woven paper or felt hearts filled with candies or nuts to put on the Christmas tree. … 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.
The enduring stories of Hans Christian Andersen have long been staples of library story programs. His tales are widely read and enjoyed, with new picture book versions being published on a regular basis.
What isn’t as well-known is Andersen’s contribution
to the way Denmark celebrates Christmas, a contribution that goes beyond the written word.
In the early 1800s, Danish Christmas trees were largely decorated with items that could be eaten after they had been admired: kringle cookies, marzipan figures, and gingerbread men. Paper ornaments began to be used around the 1820s.
Then, in the mid-1860s, Andersen, who had by this time was well-established as a prolific and successful author of fairy tales, created a paper heart basket for his friend, Mathilde
Ørsted, by weaving two pieces of folded paper together.
In the 1870s, the heart basket Christmas ornament was fast becoming a new Christmas tradition.
Today, the Danish woven heart is a much-loved Christmas tree tradition that is enjoyed throughout Scandinavia. The craft has evolved from the simple classic red and white version into a variety of multi-colored designs and motifs and has become a respected art form. One day or evening is usually left in Danish homes (over the holidays) to make these hearts together as a family to place on their Christmas trees.
As early as kindergarten… students start learning to cut simple patterns for gifts for their families. The older the students, especially those with artistic talents…the more complex the now braided patterns display… using diverse materials from nature.
It reminded me of the Gullah baskets our Gullah Club, consisting of eighth graders, learned to make one year at Alston Middle School…The process definitely involves lots of patience and do-overs.
Dr. Gene Sires, the principal at the time, brought furniture over for them so they could stay on my other side… soon after mother had gone to the Presbyterian Village.
I remember they went to the Christmas Eve Service with me and the family that year to listen to the story. So many sweet memories. I love that we are still in touch after all these years…their subsequent marriage and now two beautiful daughters!
So until tomorrow…Let’s all fill our hearts with love and respect for tradition this Christmas…including acceptance of others and unity among our fellow countrymen in the name of freedom and democracy.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
Another alteration to the an annual tradition…Honey and Mike barely got out of the NC mountains yesterday morning to come to Summerville…they awoke to ice and snow…but they did it.
This year Honey and I met on the porch, exchanged gifts, and Honey took the Apple Tree platform back to her house (for a couple of more days) to “build” it this year. Honey also made me a Sammy and Sammy nest from her kiln…adorable!
It adds on to my Sammy the Cardinal gifts over the years…I will try to add a few photos each day to show you the diversity of memoirs I have collected through so many of your Christmas gifts over the years. Here are a few for today’s photos. Love you Sammy and so does your fan club! “)
P.S. 4:00 p.m. – A black truck pulled up yesterday afternoon and Mike Burrell got out with more Christmas surcies…unbelievable! Will save them to open today…yesterday was filled with “enoughs” to make me so happy. My heart is overflowing.
P.S.S. To top off the cold rainy day here on a high note…Susan called and said she was running supper over to me…it was delicious…a yummy pasta dish and salad…just hit the spot…thank you so much Susan for the unexpected meal…I gulped it down. 🙂
***Look at Ady modeling…I had this coat, in my closet, for a long time…thinking it would fit someone in the family…older…but didn’t realize that Ady has shot up so much this year…and while she has room to grow in it…it looks adorable on her right now…she’s ready for winter!