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IKEA Holiday Events

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IKEA stores all over the world are hosting several events this holiday season that will put you in the Christmas spirit. As you may know, IKEA was founded in Sweden, and therefore, many of their events are inspired by Swedish traditions. The whole family can enjoy a variety of activities, such as julbord, breakfast with Santa, gingerbread house decorating, and more!


The julbord is an all-you-can-eat Swedish feast that includes traditional dishes like herring, smoked salmon, meatballs with lingonberries, and more. To finish off your delicious dinner, you’ll enjoy some sweets and glögg (mulled wine). In order to nosh at this spectacular smörgåsbord, you will need to purchase your ticket(s) in advance, so contact your local store.

Santa will be making public appearances at several IKEA stores this year! Children of all ages can meet Santa and even take a photo with him, so be sure to bring your camera. In some stores, Santa will be in the restaurant, so you and your children can even sit and eat breakfast with him.

Try your hand at piping icing and adorning a gingerbread house with candies at IKEA’s gingerbread decorating contest. If you win the prize for the best decorated house, you can brag to your family and friends!

One of the other events that you may be able to attend is the St. Lucia procession—a Swedish Christmas tradition where Lucia leads a procession of lights as Swedish Christmas carols are sung.

Please note that events vary from store to store, so you’ll want to check your local store for a list of events. Click here to find a store in the USA or here to find an international store.

Atlanta, GA

  • Gingerbread House Decorating Contest:
    Friday, 12 December: 4–8:30pm
  • Julbord:
    Friday, 12 December: 4pm, 5:30pm, 7pm

Birmingham, UK

  • Meet Santa:
    Every weekend until 22 December: 10:30am–4:15pm
  • Julbord & St. Lucia Celebration:
    Thursday, 11 December: 6–8pm

Brooklyn, NY

  • Gingerbread House Decorating Contest:
    Friday, 12 December: 12pm, 2:30pm
    Saturday, 20 December: 12pm, 2:30pm
  • Julbord:
    Friday, 12 December: Contact store for dining times.

Göteborg Bäckebol, Sweden

  • Julbord:
    Every day until Christmas: 12–2pm
  • Meet Santa:
    Sunday, 7 December: 12–3pm
    Sunday, 14 December: 12–3pm
    Sunday, 21 December: 12–3pm
  • St. Lucia Celebration:
    Saturday, 13 December: 2–4pm

Miami, FL

  • Breakfast with Santa:
    Sunday,14 December: 9:30–10:30am
    Sunday, 21 December: 9:30–10:30am
  • Julbord:
    Friday, 12 December: 5pm, 7pm

Pittsburgh, PA

  • Breakfast with Santa:
    Saturday, 13 December: 9:30–11am
    Saturday, 20 December: 9:30–11am
  • Julbord:
    Friday, 12 December: 5:00pm, 7:00pm

Seattle, WA

  • Julbord:
    Thursday, 11 December: 4:30pm, 6:30pm
    Friday, 12 December: 4:30pm, 6:30pm
  • St. Lucia Celebration
    Saturday, 13 December: 9:30am

Again, this is not a complete list of events at IKEA stores. To find events and activities at the store nearest you, check online. Click here to find a store in the USA or here to find an international store.

Raymond Around the World: New York City

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Over the past few years, Raymond and I have had a lot of fun travelling together during the elfy downtime. We’ve been all over the world to places like San Francisco, South Korea, and Brussels. And lucky for us, we were able to travel together again this year.

This past winter I was heading down to New York City for the birthday of one of my best friends, and I invited Raymond along since you know it’s simply not a birthday party without Raymond there!

Raymond had never visited the Big Apple before, but he loved it, especially all the different modes of transportation that we took. Plus, it was rather cold while we were there, so Raymond felt right at home.

Excited for his first ride on the New York City Subway
Emerging from the subway station
Going for a brisk walk on the High Line
Enjoying the view from above the busy streets
Raymond hailed a cab like a pro
Raymond telling the cab driver where he wanted to go

Where else in the world do you think Raymond went this year? Stayed tuned to find out! :)

Etsy Item of the Day: Doggie Christmas Tree Pullover

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Just look at how adorable this French Bulldog is in her Christmas tree pullover sweater! Made from plush fleece and adorned with a cheery tree, this pullover will put any pup in a festive mood. And you will feel your own warm fuzzies, as all profits from your purchase will go to helping dogs in need.

Etsy Seller: Rosie’s Clothes

Give a Goat to Help Those in Need

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One way you can give a meaningful present this holiday season is by giving a symbolic gift to a friend or family member. With Oxfam America Unwrapped, you can purchase a gift in honor of a loved one that will help someone else in need of basic supplies, education, or animals. The present itself is sent to someone else across in the world to help them support their family and community.

If you’re like us and love Christmas goats (such as the Gävlebocken), you might want to purchase a goat in honor of your best friend. The goat goes to someone else who needs it, and you can send your friend a card to let them know about the gift.

Goats are a great gift because they are hardy creatures, as they are drought-resistant and will eat just about anything. This is an important factor for people who live in areas without a lot of grass. Should you decide to give a pair of goats or a tribe of goats, your gift will have long term benefits since the goats can provide milk and offspring.

In addition to the various animal gifts, you can also give gifts of education, skill training, emergency supplies, or even basic necessities, such as soap. There are many other types of gifts to choose from, so check out Oxfam’s website to choose one that appeals to you. Your charitable gift will have a lasting impact on the lives of others.

Christmas Crafts for Kids at Anthropologie

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Over the next couple of weekends, some Anthropologie stores across the USA and Canada are hosting holiday craft events for children. Recommended for ages 5–8, kids will be able to create some fun crafts while mom and dad sneak in a little shopping. You can visit Anthropologie’s website to see if your local store is hosting this event, and if you plan to attend, make sure to call the store to RSVP.

Holiday Indie Craft Fairs

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If you’re on the hunt for some special holiday gifts, hit up an indie craft fair this weekend or next weekend. At these markets you can find all kinds of goodies from jewelry to stationery to ceramics—all handmade and many times local. By shopping at one of these fairs, not only will you be able to find truly unique Christmas presents for your loved ones, you will also be supporting local small businesses, so it’s a win-win. Always fun, indie craft fairs are basically Etsy in event form, complete with DJs and food trucks.

Below I’ve highlighted a few of these merry markets, but if you have a favourite local indie craft fair in your area, let me know in the comments!

Holiday Strawberry Swing – Kansas City, MO

A two-day event, the 4th annual Holiday Strawberry Swing is going on this weekend over First Friday. Held at the historic West Bottoms at The Foundation, the Holiday Swing will be a fun time, as you can find local, handmade Christmas gifts there while listening to live music and sipping a festive drink. This event’s 30+ vendors sell a myriad of products, such as jewelry, quilts, wood work, mobiles, photography, painting, zines, and much more.

Holiday Strawberry Swing
The Foundation
1221 Union Avenue

Friday, 5 December: 10am–8pm
Saturday, 6 December: 10am–6pm
Admission: Free!

Renegade Craft Fair December Market – Los Angeles

The Renegade Craft Fair December Market sounds like quite the festive fête! At this market in Grand Park there will be more than 250 independent makers, as well as workshops, food trucks, music, and a photo booth. The vendors will be selling handmade holiday gift wrap, health & beauty products, jewelry, toys, apparel, stationery, housewares, and more. If all that isn’t enticing enough, well behaved pets are welcome to attend, and there’s an official afterparty called Meet the Makers [RSVP here].

Renegade Craft Fair December Market
200 N. Grand Avenue
[between Broadway and Spring Street]

Saturday, 13 December: 10am–5pm
Sunday, 14 December: 10am–5pm
Admission: Free!

Picnic Holiday Sale – Portland, ME

Tap into the Maine DIY scene at the Picnic Holiday Sale. At this juried craft fair’s sixth year, not only can you find handmade accessories, housewares, stationery, and the like—you can also shop for vintage goods. While perusing the items, you can nibble on tasty treats from a local bakery, cafe, or coffee shop. For an awesome bonus, kiddos and adults can have their photo taken with the Yeti!

Picnic Holiday Sale
Portland Company Complex
58 Fore Street

Sunday, 14 December
11am–6pm
Admission: Free!

BUST Christmas Craftacular – London

The BUST Christmas Craftacular has everything you could want in a craft fair: handmade wares, DIY workshops, goodie bags for the first 100 shoppers, a raffle, tasty treats, and a DJ! Seventy stalls contain clothing, artwork, soap, accessories, textiles, stationery, ceramics, and much more. After shopping, try your hand at one of the workshops where you can make items like a perspex necklace [all day; £10], linoprint Christmas cards [3.30–5pm; free], or felt slippers [12.30–2pm; free].

BUST Christmas Craftacular
The Islington Metal Works
7 Torrens Street
[directly behind Angel tube station]

Sunday, 14 December
12–7pm
Admission: £3

Indie Craft Experience Pop-Up Shop – Atlanta, GA

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The 5th annual ICE Holiday Pop-Up Shop features hand-crafted goodies from more than 70 artists, crafters, and makers from all over the USA. Located in Candler Park and open through Christmas Eve, you could easily finish up your Christmas shopping by stopping in this shop.

ICE Holiday Pop-Up Shop
1390 McLendon Avenue NE

Now through 24 December
Tuesday–Thursday: 11am–7pm
Friday–Saturday: 11am–8pm
Sunday: 12–6pm
Monday: Closed

Additional Craft Fairs This Weekend

While I would love to feature all of the indie Christmas craft markets, but that would make for a rather massive blog post. But, since I like y’all, here are a few more craft fairs going on this weekend around the United States.

Etsy Item of the Day: Swedish Christmas Tea Towel

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After writing about Gävlebocken yesterday, of course I have to highlight something julbock-related from Etsy today! This sweet tea towel features yule goats, red apples, and Swedish paper hearts. Bright & cheerful and made with a linen/cotton blend, this towel will add a touch of julstämning to any kitchen.
julbocktowel

Etsy Seller: Lilleputt Studio

Psst… Want to learn how to make your own paper hearts? Head on over to the Craft Cottage for easy-to-follow instructions.

Christmas Photos for Your Pets

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Photo by Sandra Cobet. License: CC BY 2.0

Have your pets been naughty or nice this year? Now is their chance to whisper in Santa’s ear. Or maybe they’ll just give Santa a big slobbery kiss. ;) In Petco stores nationwide, your furry family members can have their photo taken with Santa. If there isn’t a Petco near you, contact your local humane society or animal shelter. Many humane societies have an event where Santa will take a picture with pets. For more holiday fun, you can get a free digital photo from PetSmart (details below).

So pull out your Christmas sweaters, scarves, hats, or other festive accessories and make plans to attend one of these photo events!

Photos with Santa at Petco

petco-logoOn Saturday, December 6th or 13th, head into your local Petco between 1–4pm to have your pet’s photo taken with Santa. You’ll get a 4" x 6" photo for just $9.95. You’ll be happy to know that 100% of your photo purchase will help homeless animals—now that’s money well spent!

Click here to find a Petco store near you.

Paws for the Camera at PetSmart

PETSMART-logoGet a digital photo of you with your furry friend(s) at PetSmart for free—that’s right, FREE! Now, to be clear, Santa will not be there, but you can still have a nice, festive photo taken. The image will be emailed to you, so you can print as many as you like or even use it for your Christmas cards! This in-store photo event will take place on December 6–7th and 13–14th from 12–4pm.

Click here to find a PetSmart near you.

Other Resources

  • Your local humane society – Contact your local animal shelter to find out if they are having a “photos with Santa” event.
  • Your local shopping mall – Sometimes the Santa photo booth at the mall has designated times when pets are welcome to take photos with Santa.
Mary

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