Getting ‘hygge’ for the holidays: Festive shoppers hit B’Heights church for annual Danish fair

Tis the season!: Two tots traveled from New Jersey to get an early start on their holiday celebrations by visiting Santa Claus at the annual Danish Christmas Fair in Brooklyn Heights on Nov. 18.
Photo by Erin Lefevre

They started the season with a skål!

Scores of families flocked to Brooklyn Heights on Saturday to kick-off the holiday season at a Scandinavian yuletide bash filled with Nordic food, drinks, and gifts that offered attendees a festive taste of the region, according to an event volunteer.

“Some of these special Christmas decorations are really cute and remind you immediately of Denmark,” said Helena Barton, a native Dane who moved to the United States last year and traveled from Connecticut to work at the Danish Christmas Fair. “Just seeing the crowds, the interest, and the excitement, I get nostalgic for Christmas in Scandinavia.”

Officials from the Danish Seaman’s Church hosted the annual event, which occupied spaces at the Willow Street house of worship as well as at nearby Plymouth Church, on Hicks Street, and took place ahead of Thanksgiving in order to welcome expatriates from Denmark who return to their home country for the holidays.

Kitchen volunteers whipped up traditional holiday treats such as æbleskiver, spherical popover-like pastries, and gløgg, a type of mulled wine, for guests at the seamen’s church, while workers at Plymouth Church served open-faced sandwiches called smørrebrød.

And the food-filled fair was also a one-stop stocking-stuffer shop, according to one Dane who brought her youngsters along and said she’s been coming to forage for trinkets — many of which are otherwise only sold in Denmark — for 40 years.

“It’s the place in the tri-state area to get Christmas things from Denmark for the holidays,” said Anina Rossen, who traveled from faraway New Jersey to attend. “We bought some Danish chocolate, herring, Danish rye bread, and some Danish candy.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Merry and bright: Anja Kristiansen offered a customer festive assistance during the annual shopping-and-eating fest.
Photo by Erin Lefevre

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