I’m a huge believer in not buying trinket souvenirs for a couple of reasons; first, they hardly ever support the local economy and second, you hardly ever use them (when was the last time you used that plastic playing card set turned keychain?). But I do believe in bringing things home from your travels; living souvenirs.
As I wrote previously, Danes love their candles; they burn everywhere from public sidewalks to windowsills. To remind me of this and incorporate the calm and beauty they provide, I bought two different candle holders from two of Denmarkâ€™s best known designers – Georg Jensen (stainless steal tea light holders) and Royal Copenhagen ( Mega Tea light Porcelain holder). I bought them from the boutiques instead of a department store or design house; there’s something special about doing it that way, especially since they wrap it up for you so lovely (a little present to unwrap when home. Love that!). When I burn candles in them, I’ll think of my trip.
I also purchased some tea bits from Bodum, wonderful Italian stainless teaspoons from a little home store in Copenhagen, a jacket from H&M (ok, not Danish but close!) and sweater dress. In Ribe, I stepped into a little shop that sold nothing but things from Scandinavian artists and I happened to fall in-love with a little glass girl made by Krebs Keramik. The reason? I draw stick figures and this is exactly how I draw myself! My mother ended up purchasing this for me as my birthday gift so now when I look at the lovely glass girl, I’ll think several happy thoughts.
I also picked up a Danish design book and some magazines. Oh! The magazines! Boligliv and Isabellas. I bought so many copies for myself and friends that some store clerks actually asked if I was crazy (do you know you bought three copies of the same magazine? Would you not prefer to read different magazines?).
There are sheets, duvets, pillows and some linens to come so when I fall asleep at night I can dream about when I return (hopefully to live full-time). It might seem expensive to buy these things overseas but there’s a value – great living memories instead of useless junk lying about.
Then there are just ideas I bring home, like the heart pictured above which is from my grandfatherâ€™s family plot near Skidby. They’re created to protect the little flowers from the harsh winter winds but created to be beautiful as well as useful. There were other ideas from tulips to candles that I took pictures of to recreate at home. These are truly the living memories.