6 industry insiders share their guide to doing Christmas right

By Linnéa Ruiz Mutikainen
Emelie Lindmark Christmas celebrate 2022 festive

Photo: Emelie Lindmark

With Christmas approaching, we’re quizzing the Scandi style set on their bustling celebrations – from go-to outfits to must-have decorations. Emelie Lindmark, Chloé Schuterman and others tell us how they will be celebrating

Festive season is right around the corner. Although the Yuletide spirit may still feel distant for some, we’re ready to enter full-blown Christmas craze. Say 'hello' to levelled-up hygge, less strict go-to uniforms, and an array of tasty foods.


Below, we check in with six buzzy Scandinavians, letting them spill the tea on their own Christmas celebrations.


Maya Soul Paustian – Stylist

In my family, we usually celebrating over two days. On Christmas Eve, I’m either with my side of the family or my husband’s. It’s quite the big shebang, while Christmas Day is more relaxed. My mother is American, celebrating Christmas on the 25th, so that’s where we end up every Christmas Day.

Having a Christmas tree is a must for me. My grandmother makes amazing Christmas cakes, to me they’re festive staples, transforming into gorgeous ornaments as well. Whenever my family’s hosting Christmas Eve, she’s the one in charge of the foods, serving duck to browned potatoes to red cabbage.

A Christmas tree is essential for Maya Soul Paustian (and her son). Photo: Maya Soul Paustian

I like adding a dash of red, hints of green or something sparkly to my festive outfit. Dressing up is amazing – me, my husband, and our son (soon-to-be sons) always do it. Christmas carols, on the other hand, is something I’ve never done up until recently. No one’s that great of a singer, especially on my dad’s side, so we’ve just dodged it. I don’t mind singing though, and my husband’s family is all for it, so now it’s a cherished part of our celebrations.


Nadia Kandil – Stylist, Podcaster and Content Creator

I always celebrate with my family – it’s me, my mother, sister, brother, and their kids – and we usually spend most of our Christmas skiing in Stöten, in northern Sweden.

Nadia Kandil is heading to the slopes this Christmas. Photo: Nadia Kandil

We’re from Poland and celebrate over two days. On Christmas Eve we’re fasting, but this just means skipping meats. According to tradition, you’re waiting for Jesus’ birth, eating heaps of sauerkraut and mushroom pierogis. Carp fish is a big deal as well. On the 25th it’s more mixed – we eat everything from Christmas ham to stuffed turkey.

In our mountain cabin, we always set up the Christmas tree. My Stockholm apartment is really low-key, I often switch traditional decorations for an overload of Christmassy flowers.

Believe it or not, clothes is my major struggle. It’s a never-ending disagreement between me and my mum. Whenever holiday season is approaching, I’m ready to enter cosy mode, spending my days in sweats without showering. But my mother’s not having it; she’s constantly complaining, saying how I should bring nice clothes instead of slouching around in sweats.


Karla Alajdi – stylist and model

Christmas Eve has been different each year for me. My parents split when I was very young. Now, I’m seeing holiday season as an excuse to spend slow-paced time together. With stuffed bellies we crash on the sofa, tucked under blankets watching Christmassy films.

Semi-ugly objects in warm Christmas colours is Karla Alajdi's festive decor tip. Photo: Karla Alajdi

I still struggle to feel adult enough to invest in Christmas decorations. I like it traditional, though. Think semi-ugly objects in warm Christmas colours. Honestly, it resembles my interior style very well, ugly and odd rather than polished and neutral. Foods, however, are important. I love having rice pudding or risalamande, it’s a trademark dessert. I’ve also developed quite the love for mulled wine. Me and my friend Ella did mulled wine testing last year, and we’re keeping the tradition this year.

For clothing, I start off cute and conservative, very festive if you like. Then I end up in sweats right after dinner, sometimes before. Luckily, dress codes aren't a thing in my family.


Emelie Lindmark – content creator

My Christmas starts in the Swedish countryside with my cousins, a tradition tracing back to my childhood. They live in Varberg, right on Sweden’s west coast. I used to just celebrate Christmas Eve, but since I met my fiancé Gerard, the celebrations have extended – quite a bit. We fly back to Spain, where we live, on Christmas Day. Days of celebration begin, ending on the 6th of January with Reyes Magos.

Emelie Lindmark is going for a less-is-more approach to Christmas decor this season. Photo: Emelie Lindmark

I’m definitely adapting the less-is-more principle to my Christmas decor. We have our Christmas tree, julbock [Christmas goat] lit candles, and seasonal flowers. For foods, I love Janssons frestelse, a creamy potato and fish gratin, a Swedish classic. I finish off with lussekatter, delicious baked goods with saffron.

I haven’t decided on a Christmas outfit quite yet. I’m considering a previous look, sprucing it up with accessories.


Sania Claus Demina – shoe designer

For the last few years, I have celebrated Christmas with my mother, younger brothers, and three-year-old niece – either at my mother’s or brother’s place. We have a comfortable dress code; I often spice things up with sparkling jewellery.

Sania Claus' Christmasses are full of laughs with her family. Photo: Sania Claus

I’m in charge of dressing the tree together with my niece, while my mother cooks her signature foods – Christmas-tree shaped pizza, Russian salad, and amazing oven-roasted potatoes. After dinner she plays the piano, while my brothers joke around and sing. We all laugh a lot. I really don’t take one single minute for granted, especially in these moments of joy.

I remember the first year celebrating without my dad. He passed away a few years ago, just a month before Christmas. He was always in charge of sourcing the perfect Christmas tree. My mum felt sad, talking about getting a plastic tree for the first time. Me and my brothers decided to surprise her with a real one. After browsing for hours, we finally sourced one beautiful, fluffy tree on Christmas Day. Seeing my mum’s face when we arrived with it remains the greatest gift ever.


Chloé Schuterman – content creator

My family’s quite small, so our celebrations are usually pretty intimate, yet memorable. Four years ago on Christmas, my brother proposed to his now-wife Kajsa, which was beautiful.

The tradition is simple. First, we’re off for traditional Swedish Christmas lunch at Operakällan, a buzzy restaurant here in Stockholm. Then we all gather back at my mother’s place, opening presents, having some wine, and endless cheese platters. If I get to decide, we finish off with some oysters and blini. You can’t really go wrong with that.

Chloé Schuterman is dreaming of an oysters and blini Christmas. Photo: Chloe Schuterman

For decor, I love going all-in with candles. I like Christmas stars as well, adding them in the windows makes everything pop. This year’s outfit is comfortable, yet chic. I’ll wear pink cargo pants with some of my own designs – top from Culotte and Cloeys sleeves.