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The trees are bare, the temperatures are dropping, and soon the ground will be covered with a blanket of snow. It’s time for some winter hygge ideas to make the season cozy and pleasurable.
What is Hygge?
The Danish concept of hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) doesn’t have an exact translation in English. In The Little Book of Hygge, Meik Wiking writes,
“Hygge has been called everything from ‘the art of creating intimacy,’ ‘coziness of the soul,’ and ‘the absence of annoyance,’ to ‘taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things,’ ‘cozy togetherness,’ and my personal favorite, ‘cocoa by candlelight.’”
Hygge is about being enveloped in coziness, settling into the warmth of home, laughing and snuggling with loved ones.
When I discovered hygge a few years ago, it felt like a eureka moment: I’d finally found the perfect antidote to Minnesota winters.
Why You Should Hygge
Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as good as the next Minnesotan at grumbling about subzero temperatures, icy roads, and the drudgery of shoveling snow. Winter here can be truly awful.
But the thing is, if we spend the entire winter just counting down the days until spring, we’re wishing our lives away.
We’re trudging through days we’ll never get back rather than treasuring this time as an invitation to slow down and enjoy, as Wiking puts it, getting “consciously cozy.”
Winter Hygge Ideas
Here are five ideas to bring hygge into your home this winter:
- Set up a hyggekrog.
This translates roughly to a “hygge nook.”
Find a little corner in your living room or bedroom to transform into your hyggekrog.
The perfect hygge spot features a comfy spot to sit, a cozy blanket and perhaps a pillow, and a little table to hold a candle, drink, and a book (more on those below). Bonus points for good natural light.
You can add even more ambiance with touches of nature (think: pinecones or some evergreen branches, real or faux) and fairy lights.
2. Light lots of candles.
The cozy glow of candlelight is I mentioned in my last post how this November I’ve found a new appreciation for candles. In my hyggekrog, I’ve kicked it up a notch by borrowing space on a nearby dresser to light four candles in total. Yep, diving into the candle deep end over here. I’m experimenting with different types and have found that my favorite hyggelig candles are the ones in jars since they give the soft flickering of light without the distracting glare of a direct flame.
3. Hot drinks: A cup of steaming hot tea is one of winter’s simple pleasures. I have ambitions to experiment with other hot drinks, too, but usually I’m so tired in the evening that boiling water is about as motivated as I get. I wish I could summon up the energy, though, because doesn’t “my signature winter drink” have a nice ring to it?
4. Cozy attire: Per Wiking, the Danish word hyggebukser means “that one pair of pants you would never wear in public but are so comfortable that they are likely to be, secretly, your favorites.” Uh…I’m only supposed to have one pair of comfy pants I wouldn’t wear in public?? In that case, I submit for strong consideration my fuzzy cloud pants acquired from Goodwill.
5. Books: Curling up with a good book is one of my favorite things in the world. Since hygge is about relaxation and well-being, I’m making a light-fiction-only rule for any reading that takes place in my hyggekrog. Besides some current novels I’ve heard good things about, Anne of Green Gables, Jane Eyre, and Pride and Prejudice are on the reading agenda. I’m looking forward to revisiting them as I wear my hyggebukser and sip tea amidst the flickering candlelight of my hyggekrog. 😊
How do you embrace winter? Do you have favorite ways to get your hygge on? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section below.