Wonderful Free Antique Scandinavian Christmas Cards To Print

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Jenny Nystrom was a Swedish artist born in 1854. She was known as the woman who created the Scandinavian image of Christmas, with her numerous Scandinavian Christmas cards and magazine covers. She gave Sweden the festive image of, Christmas gifts and the Christmas tree.

Jenny linked the Swedish version of Santa Claus to the gnomes of Scandinavian folklore. Many of her Christmas paintings, featured the Scandinavian gnomes and Santa Claus in his original green coat. Children also featured heavily as a subject of her beautiful and fun Christmas painted scenes.

These antique Christmas cards also reflect the wintery scenes of Scandinavia with lots of deep snow!

The Danish for merry Christmas is “glædelig jul“, whereas in Swedish and Norwegian it is “God Jul“.

As well as Scandinavian Christmas cards, I love Scandinavian Christmas decorations, there is a great round-up of Scandinavian Christmas crafts on Pillarboxblue.

Free_vintage_scandinavian_Christmas_cards

To download the antique Scandinavian Christmas cards just click on the highlighted title and a pdf will download to your computer immediately.
 
 The PDF downloaded vintage Scandinavian Christmas cards will be of a higher resolution than the images below.

The Vintage Scandinavian Christmas Cards

1. Danish Christmas Elves 1913

This antique Christmas card was held at the Norwegian National Library. However, the greeting on the card “Glædelig Jul!” is the Danish for Merry Christmas.

The Norwegian is God Jul. So I presume that this was a Christmas card sent from someone in Denmark to someone in Norway. The Christmas elves on the front look very Scandinavian and maybe that’s a basket of “Danish” pastries they are carrying!

Free antique Christmas cards Scandinavian elves

2. Danish Boy Carrying Church – 1910

Another Christmas card with the Danish seasonal greeting “Glædelig Jul!”, which translates as Merry Christmas. This time it is of a Danish boy holding a model of a Scandinavian Church.

Danish Vintage Christmas card 1910

3. Danish Children With Umbrella Card

This is a lovely vintage Scandinavian Christmas card by the artist Jenny Nystrom. Painted somewhere in the early 1890s.

Scandinavian antique Christmas Card

4. Children Feeding Birds – 1920

This is a lovely winter scene, showing two children feeding the birds.

Vintage Scandinavian Christmas Cards

5. Santa Feeding A Goat

Not sure of the date of this Jenny Nystrom card. It shows Santa feeding a goat. Interestingly Santa is wearing a green coat and not red. Santa always used to wear green until the advertising executives of Coca Cola gave him a red makeover.

Jenny Nystrom antique scandinavian Christmas card

6. Children Dancing Around the Christmas Tree

What a delightfully happy festive scene. Excited children dancing around the Christmas tree, painted in 1896. Note the flags on the Christmas tree, it is a tradition to decorate the tree with flags in Scandinavian countries.

Dancing around the Christmas tree vintage Christmas card

7. Children Spying on The Robins

Another delightful scene of children with birds, this time they are spying on them! Including the Christmas card classic bird the robin. The way the card is painted it looks like a snow globe.

Scandinavian vintage Christmas card of children looking at robins

8. Original Green Santa

Another Scandinavian vintage Christmas card with a painting of Santa showing him in his original green coat. Before the Coca-Cola update to a red coat in the 1930s!

Jenny_Nyström Green Santa Christmas postcard

9. Happy New Year Card -1914

This is a cheeky Christmas card, showing a boy in traditional dress. He’s armed and dangerous ready for a serious snowball fight.

It is also a rare Jenny Nystrom card with the greeting written in English. Rather than one of the usual Scandinavian languages on her antique Christmas cards. This card was painted in 1914.

Antique Scandinavian Christmas Card

10. Gnome With Wheel Barrow

This Christmas card features a gnome hard at work. Scandinavian gnomes are one of the most familiar creatures of Scandinavian folklore. They are called “nisse” in Danish and Norwegian, and “tomte” in Swedish.

Nisse is typically associated with winter and Christmas. They are generally are short, with a long white beard and wearing a conical or knit cap in red or some other bright color. They often have an appearance somewhat similar to that of a garden gnome.

Scandinavian gnomes have been a very popular theme for Christmas crafts and decorations over the last couple of years, and not just in Scandinavia.

Norwegian_Christmas_Card with gnome

11. Christmas Angel An Cherubs

A lovely card with a more religious feel as it features an angel and cherubs. This card is dated from 1913.

Glædelig_Jul,_Christmas_angel_1913

12. Snowman

This is a jolly Scandinavian card with a jolly snowman on the front. The Danish for snowman is “snemand“, Swedish “snögubbe“. Whereas the Norwegian is very similar to English, “snømann

Glædelig_Jul,Snow man1908

I think these lovely vintage Scandinavian Christmas cards would make a fabulous display at Christmas. You could print and frame them.

However, I think they would make a gorgeous festive garland, strung up like bunting. Or you could easily get these images printed onto your own Christmas cards to send to your friends and relatives.
 
 
If you like this post you may also like the free vintage maps of Northern Europe and maps of Norway to download.
 

Free_vintage_scandinavian_Christmas_cards_tree

28 thoughts on “Wonderful Free Antique Scandinavian Christmas Cards To Print

  1. I’m a second generation American Dane, and I have many cards from my grandparents. These were always a favorite when i was a child, and I have added some of these to my collection. Thanks for the downloads, Sandi

    1. Thank you, I bet you have a lovely collection. My husband is Norwegian but unfortunately hasn’t kept any Christmas cards.

  2. HI ! I also found these images on the Nasjonalbiblioteket / National Library of Norway pages . It was nice to read your explanations and the comments .
    I am a bit confused about the languages that Jenny Nystrøm used .” Godt Nytaar” is Norwegian or Danish ?

  3. Hi Claire,

    I’ve enjoyed your vintage cards very much. The little boy on the Happy New Year – 1914, is actually a young Sammi (or Sami) – often referred to as Laplanders. The term “Laplander” is offense to the Sami
    people. As a reindeer raiser in CO I keep my eye out for Sami items, to share when I do farm tours.

    Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful items! Ethel

    1. Thank you, Ethel. That’s very interesting to know about the Sami. I once watched some Norwegian slow TV which was just 2 Sami walking with their reindeers by torch light through the snow in real time, I was mesmerised.

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