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2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball

Picking my favorite New York City holiday tradition is like picking a favorite song. I immediately think of one activity that I love, but then another pops into my head… and then another… and then another. There are the “classics” i.e. the activities I do every year, and then there are the “hits” i.e. the new activities I’m currently obsessed with this year and am planning on repeating in future years. With a city that offers you the world, it’s just so hard to choose favorites!

But without a doubt, the Scandinavian Christmas Ball is always the activity I think of first when I think about Christmastime in New York City. It’s elegant, it’s festive, and the evening always passes in a whirl of champagne, dancing and twinkling Christmas lights.

As always, this year’s event was held at the Metropolitan Club on the Upper East Side.

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Guests arrive early in the evening for cocktail hour. It’s the perfect time to take in the beautiful Christmas decorations… and see what everyone else is wearing!

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

Then guests move into the dining room for dinner.

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

While everyone is dining, I like to sneak out and take pictures in front of the club’s enormous Christmas tree.

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

As it turns out, I’m not the only one with this bright idea!

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

After dinner everyone moves back into the Great Hall for the most unique feature of the entire evening: Christmas carols sung by the Saint Lucia singers.

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

They start with traditional carols in Swedish.

Before asking everyone to join in, this time in English.

And this year we were lucky enough to be standing right in front!

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Afterwards Greg and I snuck up to the library, another Christmas tradition that I love.

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Because the Scandinavian Christmas Ball wouldn’t be complete without a picture of me standing on the library table, holding a book. It’s something my friends and I started our first year and I’ve been doing it ever since!

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

This is the entire progression, from 2014 to 2018:

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Then Greg and I headed out of the library and to the balcony overlooking the Great Hall. Can you guess what we were excited to see?

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

That’s right, the desserts had been laid out! Towards the later end of the evening, long tables are set up arrayed with a variety of Christmassy desserts. It’s something I look forward to every year, especially the Christmas cookies!

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

For the last couple hours of the evening, there was only one thing left to do: dance!

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

Photograph courtesy of Berit Hessen

My friend Mary-Elizabeth took this amazing action shot of Greg and me dancing, and it ended up being my favorite picture of the evening. Thank you, Mary-Elizabeth!

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

And thank you to the American Scandinavian Society for hosting another wonderful event!

2018 Scandinavian Christmas Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

For more information on the Scandinavian Christmas Ball, and to stay in the loop for next year’s event, click here.

~A

P.S. My dress is by Badgley Mischka and you can find it here.

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