Christiano! Find your own feast day!

The supermarkets had an early Christmas by merging the festive period with the 2022 World Cup – capitalising on the happy fortune that Denmark’s principal colours are the ones most worn by Santa himself. Supermarkets in Cameroon have Coca-Cola to blame for missing out on that bonanza.

And it helped that they faced no competition from the official merchandisers, to whom Christmas is the celebration of a minor prophet. They were free to remodel baubles as footballs on woolly hats for the ladies and make Santa klaphats for the men – kitschy additions to the red and white worn by thousands of adoring, and a little more self-respecting, fans.

And just because Denmark crashed out in the group stage – to a country that barely knows how to celebrate Christmas – doesn’t mean the Danes need to bin all that clever marketing. Klaphats can be upcycled to give to your favourite angel and the football baubles … just cut them off and throw them away.

Who can save our sins this time?
As somebody well versed in throwing it all away once said: “So this is Christmas.” And now you mention it, there is something poignant about that remark: like it’s a huge crashing disappointment after so much fuss and hype.

In the case of 2022, the festive holiday period will be the most anticlimactic ever, coming one week after the culmination of the World Cup – or at least for most men.

Seriously, who will be able to stomach another glass of glögg after all the grog that’s gone straight into our gullets. Who will have the lungs for carols after screaming at the television set four hours a day for weeks on end? And who has the body fat to survive the eternity in the doghouse that now beckons? 

Pavorotti’s the only answer I can come up with to die for our sins. But he’s already as dead as Jesus.

Good omen for team in white
That’s the fella … I’d almost forgotten his name. Not Messi-ah or Christ-iano, but Jesus Christ our saviour/ who was born on Christmas Day/ to save us all from Satan’s pow’r – it’s a sad indictment of the world today that most of our Bible knowledge stems from festive songs. 

But through football, we can learn. Like did you know that St Lucia’s Day clashed with the first semi-final? Surely a good omen for the team playing in white. Sadly England’s game against Les Bleus fell on one of the few dates that isn’t an anniversary of France losing a military battle. 

While the final is the anniversary of the death of our most sacred mother of divinity Kirsty MacColl – a life story that will continue touching hearts, okay maybe not as long as Jesus, but her Xmas song is indisputably better than any of the homages paid to his manger, or manager, over the years. 

The most unique Xmas ever
So what’s left for Denmark after Qatar? Christmas, of course, and this special edition has the entire backstory and entire festive smorgasbord for you to devour.

Learn about the pagan history of the festive holiday (pages 6-7), the songs the Danes favour, both in church and whilst dancing around the Christmas tree (4-5), what they like to do in the evenings during December (mostly 5 & 7) and how they celebrate the big day, December 24 (again 7).

Finally, on page 8, we instruct you how to make a Danish Christmas tree, klejner biscuits, a Danish Christmas heart and the classic dessert Ris à l’amande. 

No World Cup gimmicks … just the unique Danish Christmas envied all over the world.