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The first candle in the advent wreath is lit and we get together with family and friends to enjoy each others company, go for walks hopefully in the snow, bake christmas cookies, make confectionery and candle light decorations, eat Christmas porridge or æbleskiver and drink piping hot Gløgg.  
 
In Denmark Advent is part of the Christmas festivities. It starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas eve and usually we have decorated our homes for this event.
December 1st we light the Calendar candle and burn it until number "1" is gone. The next day we burn number "2" and this way we count down to 24 December. Our kids love this and on national television each year they show a tale in 24 episodes - one for every evening till Christmas eve. And some kids have a chocolate calendar with 24 hatches and others hang up a sock in which they find a present every morning until the 24th if they have been good all day.
 
We celebrate Christmas December 24th in the evening, starting with a traditional Christmas feast that always last too long according to all kids. After dinner we light the real candles in the christmas tree, which has been decorated in the morning. Traditionally the candles in the tree are red or white. Some of the candle light decorations that we have made during December are saved for this special evening and will shine together with the Chistmas tree when all electric light in the room is switched off.
And then while singing traditional Danish Christmas carols we hold hands and dance around the Christmas tree. Nordmann fir is the most traditional Christmas tree in Denmark. There are a couple of things that a traditional Danish Christmas tree always wears namely a star at the very top of the tree, strings with Danish flags and cones with pepper nuts - which are small round cookies. The last song we sing is a bit faster than the others and then we gear up and jog around in all rooms still holding hands. Back by the tree we sit down and are now ready for what the kids have been waiting for all day - the distributions of the presents that have been placed under the tree during the day. One present is opened at a time and this usually lasts the rest of the evening so confectionery, coffee and avecs are served after a while. 
 
Christmas eve is a busy night where Father Christmas usually also joins the festivities if you have been kind all year and Christmas Day as well as 26 December we gather more family to enjoy very tasty Christmas lunches, go for walks and play games.
 

Read about the Danish Christmas food 

Maj-Britt Vittrup Nielsen