Snow-covered treetops, Christmas lights in cabin windows, a skier in the moonlight, church bells chiming in the mountainsides and the peacefulness that eventually falls over the village’s houses and cabins. There are few places in Norway with more Christmas spirit than Hemsedal, and if you like Bing Crosby is dreaming of a White Christmas then you know where you should travel this Holiday season. Additionally, if you are one of those that leave your Christmas shopping till the last minute Hemsedal’s shops have plenty of Christmas gifts for the whole family.
Here are our best tips to your Christmas shopping in Hemsedal this Holiday!
A Christmas Weekend in Hemsedal
This upcoming weekend Hemsedal is hosting a Christmas weekend with festive events taking place in the town centre. On Friday at 6pm the children from Hemsedal Kulturskole are hosting a concert in the library to commemorate that it is St. Lucia’s Day (Dec 13th) and the start of the holiday season where everyone is welcome. Saturday Hemsedal Café are arranging a gingerbread house competition, just remember to bring your own kit, and they will supply the decorations. At the end of the day a winner will be announced and a price rewarded. Shops and restaurants around the town centre are also having a scavenger hunt where everyone can participate. All the shops are open until 6pm with lots of good sales. If you have a sweet tooth you might want to stop by Arti Kafe to try some of their traditional lussekatter for St. Lucia, gingerbread cookies or their take on the Norwegian gløgg. Ekte Hemsedal are hosting a Christmas market by Hemsen Interiør by the river with tasty local food and crafts. For the youngest in the family lucky enough to be on Santa’s good-list, Santa Claus will visit outside Skogstad Hotel at 4pm, and departing from the pharmacy, there is the opportunity to go on a sleigh ride with the horses from Haugen Gård. Sunday completes the bonanza with a beautiful Christmas concert in Hemsedal Church at 6pm with many talented performers.
Ekte Hemsedal is a network of local producers in Hemsedal offering local food, crafts and design of high quality. This year they are arranging a Christmas market in Hemsedal town centre on Saturday December 14th from 1pm-6pm. There will be alcohol-free gløgg by the fire, food stalls where you can purchase tasty local delicatessens such as a traditional lefse with moose meat from Harahorn and Tamt & Vilt, and plenty of opportunities to get some great Christmas gifts for your loved ones. Among the things for sale you will find lamps made out of reindeer antlers and sheepskin cushions from Hemsen Interiør, decorative stuffed deer heads from Hemsedal Hjort, beautiful ceramics from Keramikklåven, organic potatoes and meat from Brandvoll Fjellgard and smoked goat sausages and burgers from Hjelmen Boergeit.
Mum: A beautiful cashmere pillow with fox fur made by Marianne Hemmestad from Hemsen Interiør. The wild fox is shot at Brandvoll Fjellgard. Perfect at home or for the cabin.
Dad: Assemble a beautiful gift basket with local food from Brandvoll Fjellgard, Tamt & Vilt and Hjelmen Boergeit. A tasty gift for any food-lover.
For the fashionista in the family what about something beautiful in wool from the Hemsedal-brand MAGGY? The products are made almost solely on pure wool and are inspired by the Nordic nature with a dash of inspiration from the different crafts, arts, travels and people the designers themselves have met since they started the brand back in 2013. A classic look with a timeless charm, and bonus points as the clothes are guaranteed to keep you warm even through the coldest winter days. You will find MAGGY in store at Hemsetunet opposite the petrol station or online at www.maggy.no.
Mum: A pair of their gorgeous ‘Tinden’ mittens in soft sheepskin with beautiful embroideries made out of old Saris from India. The mittens keep you warm and help the poor women in India who make them earn a living. Each design is only produced in small quantities, so there are few mittens that look the same. A gift with heart!
Tropical Vibes is the newest Hemsedal brand to see the light of day with a mission statement to ‘spread tropical vibes’ in Norway in people’s busy daily life. Their aim is to minimize the use of single-use products, so if you are passionate about the climate debate, this brand might fit your ethos. The products last long and come in multiple colourful designs.
Mum: A wine-set in rose gold with a 750ml thermo bottle and four 240ml thermo cups. Perfect for a hot toddy or bottle of wine on your hiking adventures.
Dad: A pair of stylish sunglasses for use both in the slopes and on the beach. There are many designs, and all glasses are UV protected.
Children: A colourful thermos for many more hikes and ski trips in the Hemsedal Mountains in the years to come.
SCANDINAVIAN ALPS COFFEE ROASTERS
The perfect gift for all coffee-lovers. This year KaffeNerd voted Scandinavian Alps Coffee Roasters onto the Top 10 Christmas Coffees in Norway and Radio Norge voted it as the best coffee in Norway on their morning show. Their founder, Canadian Adrian Seligman was inspired to create the brand by his late grandfather, who introduced him to skiing in the Alps and the many options for great coffee in his hometown of Vienna. Adrian’s dream was to create a brand that reflected his two biggest passions in life: coffee and skiing! Scandinavian Alps Coffee Roasters is based in Hemsedal and offers a range of roasted coffee blends.
Mum: A coffee mug with the Scandinavian Alps Coffee Roasters logo and a bag of their popular Christmas coffee ‘Winter Cheer’.
Dad: The ‘Tasters Discovery Pack’ with three of Scandinavian Alps Coffee Roasters’ original blends from Brazil, Central America and Africa.
FJØSET BRUKT & NYTT
At Engene Gård, a farm in Ulsåk in Hemsedal you will find Fjøset Brukt & Nytt (read ‘The Cowshed’s new & thrifted). As the name insinuates this shop is the perfect fusion of new and old, and if you like many have been attracted to the popular thrifting trend, this will be right up your alley. In addition to older treasures, you will find many new brands such as the beautiful alpaca products from MIA, fur jackets from Møller, interior design from Light & Living and mukluks from Manitobah (purchases support the native-owned business in Canada). The beautiful wool products from MIA (Mothers in Action) are made by mothers in Peru with inspiration from both Norwegian and Peruvian culture and patterns. By purchasing a product from MIA you are helping to fund their volunteer project in Peru. A good cause and a nice gift for someone you love.
Mum: An alpaca wool coat from MIA to keep warm also on festive occasions.
Dad: A pair of the bestselling leather shoes from Manitobah.
Children: Beautiful sheepskin shoes from Manitobah to keep tiny feet warm on cold winter days.
Active gifts from one of Hemsedal’s many sports shops
If there is one thing Hemsedal gets right it is ski and sports gear, and the town has many sports shops full of great Christmas gifts and products for men, women and children. Whether you are looking for a new ski jacket for your girlfriend, a hipster-approved hammock for your friend, avalanche equipment for mum and dad, gloves for your little sister or a new pair of skis for yourself (because why not?), Hemsedal’s many sports shops have what you are looking for. Located in the town centre you will find Meter Over Havet (MOH), Tunet Sport and Totten Sport, and in Hemsedal Ski Centre you will find Skistar Concept Store, SportCo and Hemsedal Ski Shop.
Mum: A new ski jacket from Norrøna, Bergans, Peak Performance or J. Lindeberg to keep her warm while skiing into the New Year, or a GoPro camera to capture the good memories.
Dad: A Mammut avalanche kit to stay safe off the piste or touring skis with skins for many incredible ski memories in the year to come.
Children: A new helmet from Sweet (safety first) or a pair of warm gloves from Hestra to keep the good mood running all day long.
By the river under the Pharmacy in Hemsedal town centre you will find Stugu, a cosy shop ran by the talented ladies from Hemsedal Folk Art and Craft Association. The shop sells beautifully crafted products, history books depicting old stories from Hemsedal about what life used to be like in the old days and many other local products. Stugu also has their so-called ‘Make It Yourself’ kits that contain all the products needed to craft your own homemade gifts.
Mum: A bar of homemade soap of juniper, coffee, olive oil and honey.
Dad: A small jar of homemade bitter orange marmalade to enjoy with breakfast.
Children: A homemade felted pad to sit on while enjoying lunch on outdoor adventures.
Gifting experiences is the gift that keeps on giving and a sure hit with everyone. Hemsedal Aktiv offers a range of great experiences in Hemsedal, from action-filled activities to culinary experiences and exciting lessons; there is something for everyone. Creating winter memories together is perhaps on of the most beautiful and thoughtful gifts Hemsedal has to offer, and something everyone will remember for a long time. For information on how to book or purchase a gift card visit www.bookhemsedal.com.
Mum: A private off-piste guide to Hemsedal’s hidden ski havens. Perfect for active mums that enjoy a challenge.
Dad: Snowmobiling in Lykkja. A speed-induced fun experience that gets the blood pumping.
Children: Dogsledding with Hemsedal Huskies. An unforgettable winter experience suitable for the whole family. Their beautiful huskie eyes are sure to melt your heart regardless of the temperature on the thermostat.
HOUSE OF HYGGE
House of Hygge is a Hemsedal brand that has enjoyed popularity ever since it was founded, having been the first Norwegian brand to pioneer and sell the balancing line Slack Line. All their products are designed and developed in Hemsedal, and is inspired by the beautiful nature of the town. The House of Hygge Brandstore is located opposite the Tourist Office in Hemsedal town centre.
Mum: A pair of new ski socks with one of House of Hygge’s original slogans.
Dad: A set of House of Hygge’s base layers in merino wool to keep warm on long days in the slopes.
Children: A pair of stylish ski goggles with interchangeable lenses. A great gift for children who want to look cool in the slopes.
Elma’s Handel is most known as being the local coffee shop in town, but they also run a shop, selling various fair-trade products, tasty organic delicacies and beautiful Christmas stars in traditional Scandinavian style. What’s better is that when you have finished your shopping you can take a well-deserved break with a cup of coffee and a fresh cinnamon roll in their cosy coffee shop. Talk about two birds in one stone!
Mum: A Christmas star for the window from Jacobsen & Jacobsen, similar to those decorating their shop window during the month of December. A great gift to anyone who loves Christmas.
Dad: A cookbook or one of their beautiful photography books depicting the mountains.
Children: Some tasty delicious organic candy for their Christmas stocking.