2016 Gift Guide

We’ve got gift ideas for everyone on your list, including…

Photo: Daytona Strong

Photo: Daytona Strong

The Norski who has everything


A) God Jul Cotton Ribbon. This festive ribbon comes in three colors to create a range of beautiful Scandinavian Christmas packages. Ribbon is 1/2” x 5 1/2 yards. $5. scandinavianshoppe.com

B) Retro Travel Posters by EmuDesigns on Etsy. These vintage-inspired travel posters will look great above a cozy fireplace or a Scandinavian modern living room. Many other Scandinavian options are available, including Trolltunga. A3 size (11.7 x 16.5”). $19.95. www.etsy.com

C) Norwegian Middle Finger Mousepad. Those Norwegians are just so darned polite! Put some humor into your computer time. $7. www.giftchaletauburn.com

D) Squished Uffda Mug-Upside Down. It doesn’t get much more “uff da” than this! $11.50.

E) Fjord Scented Candle from Skandinavisk. The fresh Fjord scent takes the mind to the magnificent Norwegian fjords: to steep waterfalls, dark forests, and wild berries. $40. www.scandinaviandesigncenter.com

F) Norsebox. I can’t tell you exactly what’s in a Norsebox, because it’s a secret! Each Norsebox will feature one to five seasonal items from designers valued at $85-100. You sign up for one “issue,” as they call the boxes, or all four quarterly issues. $62-228. www.norseboxes.com

Donation to your favorite Nordic cause. For the Norwegian who really has it all, give a little back on their behalf. Museums, charities, (ahem) newspapers—all of these need support. Help de-commercialize the holidays and be a hero to the community.

The crafty one


A) Velkommen Til Vårt Hjem Kit. What a wonderful way to greet special guests! Cross and back stitches are used on 11 ct. ivory aida, with DMC floss. The finished size will be approximately 12 x 16”. 30 cm hangers not included. $34. www.ingebretsens.com

B) Scandinavian Figure Carvings by Harley Refsal. Discover a beautiful Scandinavian folk art with an author who has been decorated by the King of Norway for his pioneering contributions to Norwegian culture. $14.99. foxchapelpublishing.com

C) Nordic Winter Stamp Set. Set of five molded natural rubber stamps with thick cushion, each mounted on maple block. Presented in 8 x 2.5” heirloom case. Includes Reindeer, Tree, Moon, Snow, and Snowy Mountain. $24.50. scandinavianshoppe.com

D) Glitten Kit. Mittens or gloves? Both! The Glitten leaves fingers free for tasks, then covers them up for warmth! Comes with Black and White Strikkegarn. $34. www.ingebretsens.com

E) Nordic Designs Collection Coloring Book published by Creative Haven. A treasury of 63 Scandinavian designs! Pages are perforated and printed on one side only for easy removal and display. Specially designed for experienced colorists. $9.99. vesterheim.org

Craft Classes. If you live in an area with a Norwegian community, odds are you can find a place to take in-person classes in things like rosemaling, wood carving, and needlework.

The foodie (or drinkie)


A) Scandinavian Gatherings by Melissa Bahen. This book of Scandinavian-inspired gathering ideas includes recipes and crafts for everyday and special occasions. Equal parts entertaining, crafting, and cooking, it features 10 seasonal gatherings. $24.95. Widely available

B) Fire and Ice by Darra Goldstein. From the bold aroma of smoked arctic char to the delicate flavor of saffron buns, this cookbook features over 100 inspiring and achievable recipes that introduce home cooks to the diverse flavors of Nordic cooking. $40. Widely available

C) Viking Cookie Cutter. This cookie cutter in the shape of a viking head makes a very fun cookie to decorate! Approximately 4.25” horn to horn. $4. uniquelynordic.com (check out the troll cookie cutter while you’re there!)

D) Skål pint glass. Say “cheers” like a Norwegian without paying Norwegian beer prices. $7.95. www.aljohnsonsshop.com

E) Gløgg Serving Carafe and Warmer. Warm gløgg is the perfect beverage for a winter holiday party, but keeping it the right temperature can be a real challenge. Put your slow-cooker away and use this beautiful carafe instead. $52. www.rasmussenssolvang.com

F) Scandinavian Classic Gift Basket from iGourmet.com. Still not sure what to get the food-loving Scandinavian on your list? Why not food? Basket contains gjet­ost, Danish crumbly blue cheese, vadenost, gingersnaps, lingonberry jam, and Finn Crisp Natural Crispbread. $54.99. www.igourmet.com

G) Lefse Apron from The Wooden Spoon. Lefse chef design is screen printed onto cotton/poly lefse apron. $22.95. www.woodenspoon.ws

H) Norwegian Pattern Rolling Pin by ArtWoodenCorner on Etsy. This food-safe handmade rolling pin is made of European beech and has a work-surface length of 10”. $27.95. www.etsy.com

The outdoorsy one


A) Rose Half-Zip Long Underwear Top by Kari Traa. With beautifully detailed patterning and soft merino wool, this base layer top is classic and perfect for cold-weather activities. The high neck and half-zipper let you bundle up or air out. $109.95. www.rei.com

B) Rain Boots from Swims. This Norwegian company sells a number of variations on the classic Chelsea boot, for both men and women. Don’t worry; they’re not all yellow! $90-120. www.swims.com

C) Viking Pocket Knife. This multi-tool has Norway written all over it—along with a couple of moose! $26. www.thelittleviking.com

D) Bitihorn Backpack from Norrøna. This 1220 cubic inch daypack is lightweight and hydration compatible. $109. www.backcountry.com

E) GoPro Hero Session. The smallest, simplest of GoPro’s waterproof video cameras can be mounted in a variety of ways to capture whatever action you’re up to. $199. shop.gopro.com

F) Haried Jacket from Bergan’s of Norway. Light and comfortable jacket in mottled Polartec fleece. Available for both men and women. $149. www.bergans.com

G) Roller Skis. Don’t know anything about roller skiing but want to try it? Nordic Skater lets you rent equipment, then credit the rental fee towards purchase if you like. Prices vary. www.nordicskaters.com

The kids


A) Child’s Viking Hat from Icewear. No inauthentic horns on this one! Just pure wool with earflaps and fleece lining. Size 2-4 and 6-10. $35. vesterheim.org

B) Magnus the Troll by Gwen Welk Workman. Magnus is a lonely old troll who just wants a friend. In this series of three books he makes some and they explore Norwegian culture and traditions. $9.95; $30 for all three. www.woodenspoon.ws

C) The Viking Game Hnefatafl from NorseAmerica. Some call the lawn game Kubb “Viking chess,” but this is the real thing. Hnefatafl is a chess-like tactical warfare game. It is easy to learn and fun for the whole family. $39.95. www.norseamerica.com

D) Norwegian For Kids by DinoLingo. Let dinosaurs teach your kids Norwegian. Get DVDs, flash cards, and many other materials, depending on package. $67.46-119.96. dinolingo.com

E) Viking Ships 5 Mobile from Flensted. The mobile moves gracefully with its five teak carved Viking ships, with full sails set for the foreign shores. From about the year 800 until 1050, the Vikings sailed far and wide in ships like these. $54.95. www.iversonsimports.com

F) Norge Landmark Puzzle by Larsen. The small physical map of Norway has names of the largest cities and tourist destinations. Around the map are pictures of famous Norwegian landmarks and attractions. The puzzle has a fixed frame around the map with names of the attractions beside. 14 3/8” x 11 1/4”; 70 pieces. $13. scandinavianshoppe.com

G) Baby’s First Sølje Earrings. The most adorable tiny sølje you’ve ever seen. $69.95. dregnesscandinavian.gift

Wearable gifts


A) “Orka” Energy Pendant. The Icelandic word Orka translates as energy or power. The refreshing idea of revitalization and concentrated power is represented in this symbol. $75. www.scandinaviangifts.com

B) The Scream Socks from Hot Sox. Wake up from a boring sock nightmare and enjoy a sunset walk in this fun pair of socks that depict Edvard Munch’s classic painting. $8. vesterheim.org

C) Myking Sweater from Dale of Norway. Get cozy in the incredibly soft Myking sweater. Named after a region in Norway, the Myking is made with Dale’s exclusive air-spun Merino wool for a chunky, hand knit texture but with an incredibly soft and lightweight feel. $399. www.thenordicshop.net

D) Hell Norge T-shirt from Joe’s Place International on Zazzle. We all know that Hell is a (much photographed and made light of) place in Norway. Get in on the joke with this shirt. Available in many colors. $22.55. www.zazzle.com

E) Tunic Dresses from Hovden Formal Farm Wear. The company that brought back the busserull is branching out with tunic dresses made from the same pattern with a longer hem. Available in three colors. $220. hovdenformalfarmwear.com

F) Nora Butterfly Hairpin. Never fret about matching your hair to your bunad again. This Nora pin can be worn with Oppland, Vest Telemark, or Aust Telemark bunads. 1 3/4” wide x 3/4” high x 5/8” deep. $68. www.openhouseimports.com

G) Thor’s Hammer Belt Buckle from Bergmount Company. Vikings may or may not have worn belt buckles, but they’d surely love this oversized pewter buckle with Thor’s hammer and runes. $39.95. www.woodenspoon.ws

Entertaining gifts


A) Framed by Robert Wangard. In this sixth mystery featuring Pete Thorsen, the analytical hero is on a mission to save his army buddy, who has been framed for a murder. Reviewed in this paper on July 29, 2016. $17.95. www.amazon.com

B) All My Demons Greeting Me As a Friend by Aurora. This album topped the charts in Norway, with a sound that many have found difficult to define. $9.59. www.amazon.com

C) Hell Fire by Karin Fossum. The newest translation from Norway’s Queen of Crime is the perfect gift for the reader of Nordic Noir. Reviewed in this paper on October 21, 2016. $24. Widely available

D) Occupied Season 1 Blu-ray. This show based on writer Jo Nesbø’s idea is set in a world where Norway has halted all oil production sending the country and the rest of the world into crisis, only to be taken over by Russia. Reviewed in this paper on March 4, 2016. Norwegian with subtitle options. $54.99. www.amazon.com

E) Rumi Songs by Trygve Seim. Norwegian saxophonist Trygve Seim sets the mystical poetry of Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273). Reviewed in this paper on October 7, 2016. $14.99. www.amazon.com

F) The Wave Blu-ray. Hailed as Norway’s first disaster movie, this tells the story of a frighteningly possible landslide and resulting wave. Reviewed in this paper on April 15, 2016. Norwegian with subtitle options. $17.49. Widely available

G) The Last King Blu-ray. Own this impressive movie adaptation of the story of the Birkebeiners. Reviewed in this paper on May 20, 2016. Norwegian with subtitle options. $14.99. Widely available

Norsk jul


A) Aquavits! You can now buy Linie and Aalborg again, along with a number of locally produced aquavits. Prices vary. Check your local liquor stores for availability.

B) Clip-on LED Candle Ornaments from Martha Stewart. For when you want that old-timey Nordic look to your Christmas tree, without all the fire hazard. $71 for 10. www.homedecorators.com

C) Silver Metal Christmas Tree Candle Holders. Or, maybe you do want the real Christmas tree experience, complete with fire hazard. Available in silver or gold. $7.95 for a pack of 10. gdh-imports.com

D) Straw Ornaments 56 Piece Box. Give your tree the classic Scandinavian look with these straw ornaments. $17. www.giftchaletauburn.com

E) Norwegian Flag Garland. The must-have decor for your Norwegian Christmas tree. $2.25 per package of two strings. scandinavianbutik.com

F) 4 Candle Red Candelabra. Nothing makes a Christmas more “hyggelig” than candlelight. 10.5” x 6” tall. $59. www.scandinaviansouth.com

G) God Jul / Cute Funny Tomten Wrapping Paper from Riverme Design on Zazzle. $22.75 per roll. www.zazzle.com

Stocking stuffers & nibbles


A) Mint Tin with Rosemaling Design. Decorated with rosemaling originally painted by Vesterheim Gold Medal artist Gary Albrecht, 1947-1998, Madison, Wisconsin. Filled with white mints. $4.95. vesterheim.org

B) Alt for Norge Playing Cards from NorwayAtHome on Zazzle. Show your Norwegian pride with this Norwegian flag created with a painterly grunge effect. They can also be customized to say whatever you like. $22.15. www.zazzle.com

C) Nidar Jule Marsipan. It might be difficult to choose between these: Nidar Julegris $5.50; Jule Marzipan $10.75; and Jule Marzipan Smågriser. $7.50. scandinavianbutik.com

D-J) More candy! These are perennial favorites. Availability and prices on these will vary. Check your local Scandinavian shop or visit the websites of almost any of our advertisers.

D) Kvikk Lunsj—Norway’s Kit Kat is not just for Easter anymore
E) Daim—milk chocolate with crunchy toffee
F) Kong Haakon chocolates—the ubiquitous big box of chocolates
G) Skipper—authentic licorice
H) Smash!—bugles covered in chocolate; more addictive than it sounds
I) Twist—assorted filled chocolates and chocolate-covered caramels
J) Lohengrin—milk chocolate filled with delicious creamy goo

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 18, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.