Shopping at a Scandinavian festival.


Every year we all try to visit the Scandinavian festival. I love shopping for Christmas decor items. I love telling my children stories of what it was like at Christmas time in my Swedish family. They always laugh at my stories. When my grandfather came here from Uppsala he spoke 5 languages but English wasn’t one of them, so he learned English by reading the funny pages in the newspaper. I would love to visit Sweden some day and see where my grandfather came from.

I have Swedish and German in me. On the Swedish side we would have huge tables filled with what I call snack foods, but my family called them Smorgasbords. Trays of meats, cheeses, veggies, Rye crisp crackers, pickled herring and just all kinds of finger foods that we would eat through Christmas eve along with turkey, potatoes and ham. Then the next day which was Christmas Day we would always have a huge Swedish omelet we would cover with cheese and bake.

I was in charge of the tree and cookies. I would make all kinds of dough ornaments to hang on our tree. Then on Christmas eve when we were all celebrating someone would be so drunk and somehow, don’t even ask me how, they would be around the tree and just stumble and the tree would tumble over. Every year, Christmas wasn’t officially Christmas until that tree fell over. Of course I would get upset when I saw my salt dough ornaments broken but I knew I could make new ones and I did enjoy making them so it wasn’t all bad.

Oh, and my family played some Swedish group that sang a song about going nuts at Christmas and other Swedish folk art music. It was that song about going nuts that would get everyone singing along with it. Now that I think about it, that was also around the time the tree would usually fall over when someone got too close to it.

So anyway, just a little history on some of my family traditions from long ago. This was 70/80’s when I was a kid. Now when we all go to the Scandinavian festival it takes me back to those days.

This year the festival was much bigger then the last one we went to.



There were lots of happy shoppers there. This woman was at a sweater table and the sweaters were handmade and so beautiful. They were out of my price range though at $250 and well worth it too.

They had tables filled with all kinds of baked goods.




Products from Sweden.


I loved this table. A lady walked up to me and started telling me about how her friend who is a mathematician paints all these little boxes. They were so cute and it was also sweet how proud that woman was of her friend’s art pieces.

I wanted some straw ornaments and found some at one table that was very busy. The whole place was busy. The woman at the table looked like a neighbor from our old block on the street over where my brother-in-law lives now. He bought our old home and now along with my mother-in-law living in another home down the street, it is like that show Everybody loves Raymond. I ended up buying a little straw angel and a straw goat. I have two trees up every year and one holds all my Swedish ornaments and the other holds all my little vintage wooden ornaments.


These sweaters were beautiful.


I loved this red one, sorry the photo is so fuzzy. It was so crowded in there and I tried to get a shot real quick but had to move to let people in to the table area. These items were flying off the shelves in some areas. Scandinavian items must be trending right now.


This was mostly my view at the festival. I thought I got here early because the announcement said 9 am but when I walked in at 9 am the place was packed already, The last time we went there was hardly anyone there that early, this stuff must really be trending.

This was my favorite table. There were two women running it and I think they are sisters. I recognize them from the Lutheran church, which is where the festival is held every year.


I found most of my items at this table.I picked up one item and was excited about it because I thought it was so cute. I had an idea for it, to display in a center piece with lots of pine tree branches around it.

The item I am writing about is not really in this photo except at the right hand side in the corner you will see what looks like a wooden stick and that is what I ended up buying along with some other items.

I remember picking it up and saying out loud “This is so cute, look at it” and the woman behind me started laughing along with my daughter. Then the woman behind me asked “What is it?” and I looked at it again and said “ I don’t know” and shrugging my shoulders added “But it’s wooden and I think it’s cute, so I am buying it” There was a lot of detail work with the carved piece and for $2 that wasn’t a bad price.


6906 (96).JPG

The bottom had a chip off of it so it isn’t that sharp anymore. I didn’t care because I am probably going to use this in my garden as a plant pick.

When I got home I showed my husband my “Cute” purchase and when I said that he started laughing so hard and said “Only a viking would think a weapon was cute.”

I gave him a quizzing look and said “What…no way! This isn’t a weapon.” and then took a closer look at it in a different way. It was sharp on both ends.

“ Well, I don’t think any vampires will be stopping by our house.” my husband said while eyeing my cute little grandpa gnome. The gnomes really remind me of that old Shirley Temple movie Hedi. I have written about this before. Although now that I had my reading glasses on and was taking a closer look, this little hand carved wooden gnome looked very angry, not a Swedish grandpa I would like to be around. But I still didn’t think of it as a weapon, so my answer back to my husband’s remark about vampires being afraid to come in was…

“Oh, yeah, because of all the garlic in the house.” .

My husband being Italian loves his garlic. That was my dig back at him. Just teasing each other about our nationalities.

So here are just a few of my purchases from the festival. I had a lot of fun shopping at this one. There were lots of hand made items and vintage Swedish decor. I bought some wooden vikings. Vintage Swedish paper chains. A wooden log cabin house puzzle.An assortment of ornaments. The viking vampire slayer, if anyone knows what it really is please let me know. A paper angel ornament. A Santa and a gnome. Oh and some baked items too. Whoops forgot one more thing…a little angel chime. I will try to share a photo of that later, it involves a little tea lite candle and it spins…you know what I am talking about. I just forgot to take photos of a few things. I went home with a big bag of pretty Christmas decorations.

Happy shopping adventures everyone.

Copyright Our Little Red House  2019 ©




13 Comments Add yours

  1. Librarylady says:

    Looks like fun! (That’s actually not a bad price for Norwegian sweaters.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, it is well worth it, all the work involved and they last forever because they are made well. Just wasn’t in my budget this year.


  2. Sandra McCall says:

    What a pleasure it was to read of your Scandi Christmas fair. I’ve always dreamed of going to Christmas fairs in other lands- especially Germany. They look like such fun and like they have a HUGE variety of awesome goods. I love and would have bought your little wooden gnome too. $2.00? SOLD!

    Thanks for the fun share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome. I would love to go to the Christmas markets over in Europe as well. I have seen photos but in person I bet is amazing. For now, I will buy the items people bring over from their travels.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. wow – some very unique things here!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dandelion B says:

    I have a ? What is the meaning behind gnomes at xmas. I love Scandinavian christmas all its nature glory, is there any history behind why its so nature based in look and items used?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very good question…I always wonder too. From the little I know it seems to be the Swedish version of a Santa Clause but they are not the nicest little gnomes if you read up on their history. Something about leaving porridge out for them so they don’t steal things from your homes. Also I remember hearing something about they bring good luck to your gardens if you have one around and you feed it. In Sweden they do dress up as Santa on Christmas eve and hand out gifts but instead of leaving cookies out they leave porridge. I love mine with cinnamon and nuts. Santa and the gnomes are two different characters though so I don’t know how the two relate. The Swedish people love the simplicity of nature and include that in their homes as much as possible. Children are also encouraged to learn when they are young through exploring and being creative in nature. Swedish is one giant woodland country. My husband always says my crafts I do come from DNA memory from that part of my ancestry. All of us are influenced by the family traditions we had growing up. I see a lot of folk art traditions in your arts and crafts as well…love that. You are so creative.


      1. Dandelion B says:

        I love nature history and minimalist looks it farmhouse style i guess.I am trying to get xmas gifts done atm but hope to finally version of a gnome in January the little guys are growing on me. I love oatmeal/porriage/cream of wheat with a little brown sugar. The porriage for gnomes thing reminds me of a folklore about leprechauns thay was told on ameircan gods, do you watch that show? I love it! My fave character is the leprechaun haha. Anyway it is said there that the irish leave out gifts for the leprechauns, in return for good luck if i remember correctly. I dunno if it is just a written script or true lol, hubz is Irish maybe we should look it up.


  5. Sartenada says:


    What a lovely post! My late aunt lived all her life in Stockholm. We have made a road trip thru Sweden many years ago and then we stopped also in Uppsala! Very beautiful place. Another place from there to visit Sweden easily, is from the Finnish town called Tornio. The border to Haparanda is easy to cross – just to walk or by car just to drive. Last winter we visited there and we took photos that we had one foot on Finnish side and the other on Swedish side.:)

    It was a great joy to see all those Christmas articles. Thank you.

    Have a good day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, so happy you liked it. I love reading about you and your wife’s fun traveling adventures. I would love to see Sweden in person someday and walk where my grandfather walked. For now we visit festivals here in our city (Arizona) and love everything they bake and make for this time of year. You and your family have a wonderful Christmas holiday season and take lots of photos, love seeing your photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Suvi says:

    How fun that you have a Scandinavian festival! I saw the Finnish flag at one table there too. I’m quite taken with your gnome and can already imagine it in the garden. It’s has brilliant colors. I must admit I’ve never seen one like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love all festivals, that one is a fun one and I always go home with lots of fun things to decorate with. Right now here in the US or Arizona at least, there are gnomes everywhere. They always make me smile, I think they are so chubby and cute.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s