A Hygge Holiday Is All About Peaceful, Quiet And Cozy Surroundings
Hygge, pronounced (Hue-gah) is a Danish word originally derived from an Old Norwegian word meaning well-being and protection from the outside elements. Denmark has notoriously cold, long winters. The concept of hygge has been used by Danish people to help mentally combat the brutally dark, relentless winter season and fill their homes with comfort and love. Hygge is a word that is so important to Danish people; it’s often used to describe what their culture is all about. Hygge is not necessarily something specific that you can buy, because it’s more of a feeling than a possession. Hygge really is the epitome of Danish living, and in the last five years the concept of hygge has made its way to the US and many other countries with extreme popularity and trendiness.
Hygge can widely be described as a feeling of coziness, comfort, familiarity, friendship, laughter and seasonal homemade food and drinks. Although it’s possible to achieve hygge any time of the year (an outdoor BBQ with friends or a movie under the stars with family are perfectly good examples of summertime hygge). Hygge is generally associated with the colder months because if it’s ability to uplift spirits during dark, long winter months. Hygge is perfect for the upcoming holiday season because it’s all about peaceful, cozy surroundings that fill you with the feeling of contentment. Here are a few, simple ways you can bring holiday hygge into your home this season.
Host family and friends – The holidays bring so many opportunities to host get-togethers for your loved ones. Be sure not to stress over these gatherings, hygge parties are relaxed, friendly and homey.
Warm lighting – in order to achieve a great sense of hygge, be sure to light some candles, have a fire or set up string lights. Warm lightning is essential for a holiday hygge vibe.
Cozy linens, blankets and textures – get out all of those soft, fluffy blankets and have them available on the couch or chairs and by the windows, so that you can easily cuddle up with your favorite book and relax.
Home cooking and baking – cooking some traditional holiday meals and treats will help bring holiday hygge into your home. Comfort foods like holiday ham, stews, savory flatbreads, cookies, cinnamon apple pie will waft soul-warming scents throughout the air, making your home feel cozy and cared for.
Holiday hygge is easy and comforting. Most people are already doing at least some of these simple holidays hygge hacks without even knowing it. Now that you know the term for that warm and fuzzy feeling, you will be able to up your holiday hygge game even further.
Go Cut A Tree For A Hygge Family Experience
The nature of the holiday season provides so many fun and satisfying hygge opportunities. From cooking or baking family recipes, to holiday movies, there are various ways to achieve that cozy hygge feeling we long for, especially during the holidays. One of my absolute favorite family hygge traditions for the season is picking out and cutting down our own tree. There’s really nothing else that feels more like the holiday spirit than cutting down your own tree with family, and afterward, having fun decorating it while you all bake cookies and sip hot chocolate.
Maybe you live in an area where the traditional holiday fir tree grows in abundance and you are able to go and pick one out easily. If not, thanks to the growing hygge movement; cut-your-own-tree farms are increasingly popular. Chances are there is one within driving distance from your home. If that’s not the case either, a tree that’s indigenous to your area will do just fine. It’s truly less about the tree and more about the experience. Once you have a plan of where you will cut the tree down from, it’s time to gather up the family. Get dressed in your holiday flannels, jeans and boots and head to the tree farm. Remember to bring a few warm blankets or scarves to help you all stay cozy. Decide as a group what shape tree will work best in your home. Have fun cutting it down together and strapping it to the top of your car to make the drive with your tree back home.
Once you and your holiday tree arrive home, decorating it as a family is definitely part of the hygge experience. Wrap the tree with warm colored lights and family-made decorations. A perfectly decorated tree is not the goal of this tradition, rather a tree that is put up with love, laughter and family memories is. To further the hygge, light some candles around your home, add in some freshly baked holiday cookies, hot cocoa, and maybe some of your favorite holiday music. One of my favorite parts of this family holiday activity is that we’ve made it an annual tradition. Making memories by cutting down our own tree and decorating it together every year really adds to the holiday fun and the feeling of hygge, as well as sets the tone for a warm, family filled holiday season.
3 Simple Ways To Make The House Smell Amazing
As humans, our sense of smell plays a large role in our everyday lives, whether we realize it or not. Scents have the ability to change our mood, change how we interact with others and even play a large role in our ability to recall memories. In fact, studies find that scent is so closely linked to memory, that people can remember a scent with 65% accuracy after one year, where visual memory drops to nearly 50% after only a few months. This is because when we smell a scent it goes straight to the brain’s olfactory bulb, which is directly connected to the amygdala and the hippocampus. All technical terms aside, scents are oftentimes linked by the brain with memories. Maybe it’s the smell of your mom’s cooking, a certain flower or a perfume; certain scents can bring you right back to a memory as if it happened just yesterday. Scents have the ability to change our mood. You can use scents to your advantage to spike your hygge holiday spirit and make your home smell amazing.
Scented candles are a wonderful way to make your home look and smell festive and inviting for the holiday season. Having lit candles around your home will most definitely add to your hygge vibe. The warm glow will make rooms feel cozy and comfortable. Not only do candles look and feel homey, they also smell great. Almost all stores sell scented candles these days, but for higher quality scents, get your candles at a store that sells candles exclusively. If you have a local candle maker near you, even better! Scents like warm vanilla, cinnamon apple, sugar plum and peppermint are some holiday favorites.
Another way to make your home smell amazing for the holidays is with fresh greenery. Use of a freshly cut fir tree, a fresh wreath or some branches from an aromatic evergreen are great ways to keep your hygge home smelling and feeling joyful. If fresh trees and branches are not naturally available in your area, check with some of the home improvement stores. Look for some of the best smelling evergreens, which are the Scotch pine, Douglas fir, white spruce and Noble fir trees.
Last, but not least, baking homemade holiday treats always keeps your home filled with sweet and savory scents. Not only is baking and cooking seasonal treats a perfect hygge activity, it ensures your home smells good, naturally. If you have any traditional holiday family recipes, those will work great. Or, start a sweet smelling traditional recipe of your own with your loved ones. No matter which route you take, keep your home smelling festive for a relaxing hygge holiday.
Go Hygge With Your Favorite Holiday Comfort Foods & Treats
There are certain foods that tend to soothe and comfort us, especially around the winter months. Comfort foods like stews, casseroles, pot pies, homemade breads and baked goods bring a sense of well-being and can elevate mood, especially on a long and cold winter day. Curling up by the fire with a warm bowl of soup and a cozy blanket can transform your day just like that. So, breakout the slow cooker and settle in for a hygge holiday filled with comfort foods and treats.
Baking and cooking are a big part of the hygge mentality, especially when done with family and close friends. Keeping traditions alive using old family recipes are a hygge favorite. Just the thought of putting Great grandma’s apple-cinnamon pie recipe to use gives a warm and fuzzy feeling. And to be able to pass on these recipes by teaching your children how to make them when they are older and have families, is so satisfying.
Establishing traditional family recipes of your own is also a fun holiday hygge activity. Decide together what type of comfort food you all would like to learn to make. Pot pies are a big favorite in the winter months. Follow a recipe and add in a few touches of your own. Hand-write the recipe afterward and keep it in a safe place for next year. One idea is to use a designated box to keep all of your traditional, comfort food holiday recipes in. Each year, you and your family will look forward to breaking out the recipe box, remaking your favorite comfort foods and adding in new ones.
Hygge holidays are even better when comfort foods are used to spread the holiday cheer. Gifting your favorite homemade holiday treats will surely bring a smile to anyone’s face. Cookies, pies and holiday fudge are all great choices for gift giving. Wrap them up in some festive cellophane for transport and add in a handwritten card of well wishes. Comfort meals are also a very thoughtful gift, especially when given to a friend or loved one who leads a super busy lifestyle. What a better gift than to not have to worry about what to make for dinner that night? Comfort foods like lasagna, soups and casseroles tend to travel well and reheat with ease. Holiday cheer is always enriched with gracious gift giving.
Spread The Joy – Using Hygge In Gift Giving
Gift giving is one the most fulfilling aspects of the holiday season. Generally, people will think of the joy in receiving a special gift for the holidays. But being the giver of a meaningful gift can be even more gratifying. Great gifts are really more about the thoughtful intention behind them, than the actual gift itself. A holiday hygge gift is well thought out, and might include something homemade or something cozy for the home.
Embracing the spirit of gift giving should start with thinking about the person you are giving to. Look into their interests and hobbies. Really think about what makes them happy. Listen for any mentions of clues as you interact with them. Ask mutual friends or family, if you’re still stuck.
Once you are ready to shop, try locally owned stores and artisanal shops when looking for a great gift, as there tend to be more unique finds. Some may even have homemade gifts or art from local artists. While you are in the store remember to keep focused on the preferences of the receiver, not your own, and keep an open mind. Wrapping your special gift is nearly as important as the gift is. The wrapping is the presentation of your gift, so it should be neat and festive. Some ideas for hygge gift wrapping might be; a natural-looking and cute cardboard box, wrapping paper with snow, birds or nature on it. You could even get creative and use a knit stocking or something seasonal to put your gift in.
Ideas for gifts that encompass the hygge concept are many. Winter hygge is all about the feeling of coziness and warmth. So, it’s no surprise that gifts for the home are at the top of the list. Textiles such as blankets, throws and pillows make great gifts. Warm lighting is key in a hygge home, so things like candles and tea light lanterns also make the perfect present too. Seasonal food and drinks embrace the hygge lifestyle as well. Putting together a hot cocoa kit is a wonderful idea for your chocolate loving friend. Contrive the sweet gift, using a thoughtful mug, a small decorative spoon and some coco mix. Or you could put together the ingredients for your most favorite cookie recipe, wrap them in a basket and include the handwritten recipe and note.
The ideas are endless when it comes to spreading the holiday cheer through hygge gift giving. After all, it’s far more joyful to give than receive.