8 December: Danes keep insisting that Santa lives in Greenland

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Derek Beach is professor at Department of Political Science and is from USA. He celebrates Christmas both on the 24th following Danish traditions, and the 25th in American style

2019.12.08 | Anna Bech Sørensen

Graphics: Astrid Reitzel

The Omnibus Advent Calendar: 

The Advent calendar is a treasured Danish Christmas tradition. In many families, kids get to open a small gift each day all December until Christmas Eve, when Christmas is celebrated.

Our small holiday gift to you is a chance to meet one of AU’s many international students and employees every day until Christmas.

All 24 will share where they’re spending Christmas this year, their favorite (and least favorite) Christmas traditions from their home countries,  and what’s most annoying – or surprising – about Christmas in Denmark.

How are you going to celebrate Christmas this year?

As always, with Christmas celebrated both on the 24th following Danish traditions, and then the 25th in American style. On the 25th, one starts with a nice brunch (pancakes!). This is followed by a round of presents, including those from Santa (he of course comes during the night of the 24/25, having flown from North Pole, Alaska, where he lives!). The afternoon goes with games, walks, and family time in front of the fire. In the evening we have a roast turkey with stuffing.

What is the best / worst Christmas tradition from your home country?

The best tradition from the States is that you can only really decorate for Christmas AFTER Thanksgiving (last Thursday in November), thereby avoiding three months of songs/decorations like in DK!

The worst tradition must be baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. Although it surprisingly tastes quite nice!

What do you think is most annoying about Danish Christmas?

Danes keep insisting that Santa lives in Greenland. If you look on a map, you will see that the town North Pole is actually in Alaska. Not Greenland!     


- Merry Christmas!

The Omnibus Advent Calendar:

The Advent calendar is a treasured Danish Christmas tradition. In many families, kids get to open a small gift each day all December until Christmas Eve, when Christmas is celebrated.

Our small holiday gift to you is a chance to meet one of AU’s many international students and employees every day until Christmas.

All 24 will share where they’re spending Christmas this year, their favorite (and least favorite) Christmas traditions from their home countries,  and what’s most annoying – or surprising – about Christmas in Denmark.

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