5 free ways to make sure this holiday season is totally hyggeligt!
Hyggue (Hue-gah) is a Danish word that encompasses such a simple concept that it can take paragraphs to put it into words in other languages. The concept is, in fact, so foreign to contemporary American culture that it can be particularly difficult to convey here: Cosiness, family, intimacy, slowing down, ritual enjoyment of the mundane, bringing the outdoors in, happiness, and warmth.
Hyggue originated in Denmark where winters are long and cold. The cultivation of hyggue developed as a coping mechanism in dealing with enduring dark and damp days spent cooped up indoors. In the fast paced, consumeristic culture of Amazon-America where entertainment and consumption can be accomplished with the click of a button, hyggue is an art form to be cultivated.
Luckily for us, hyggue can be nurtured without any clicking, buying, or consuming (though nibbling and sipping are encouraged). This holiday season, slow down a bit and invite hyggue into your celebrations.
Below I suggest a 5 free and simple ways you can foster a hyggue holiday in the hopes that this holiday season we all spend less money and gain more time relaxing with the ones we love.
1. Go on a pinecone hunt. Get out into nature and bring some of it home with you! Pinecones are perfect for filling bowls and long empty flower pots. They can be painted or wired into holiday decor, or used to adorn Christmas presents. I am always shocked to see that you can buy bags of pinecones at the store! Get thee to thee mountains, or a neighborhood park, and start foraging!
2. Cosy up by the fire. Before televisions and radios and even books there were fireplaces and hearths where families would gather, tell stories, and watch the flames flicker. The warmth and light from a fire are the perfect antidotes to the cold and dark of winter.
Feeling extra Scandinavian this winter? Make a yule log for your fire. Collect any log that speaks to you and decorate it with natural and flammable elements (hello pinecones!), write wishes for the new year on bits of paper and tie them to the log with twine, then sit down and simply watch it slowly burn.
3. Add some fresh flowers to your home. The dead of winter is no match for a bounteous bouquet! Did you know the Danes spend more per capita on fresh flowers than any other nations? Did you know the Danes are regularly ranked the happiest people on the planet? Guess who spends the least per capita on fresh flowers? Yup, Americans. Get thee some flowers!
(Just saying... I can help with this one!)
4. Make yourself some tea or coffee and put it in a beautiful cup, sit down and just enjoy it. So often I make myself coffee in the morning on my way to water the plants, feed the cats, check on the kids, defrost the car. By the time I finish my cup it has usually been forgotten half a dozen times and microwaved back to hot twice. Do the opposite of that.
5. Light a candle. The gentle flicker of a candle is a simple way to warm any room and brings instant coziness (did you know the Brits spell this cosiness?!?!). Double down and burn beeswax candles (triple down and burn sustainably sourced beeswax candles from a local beekeeper)! Beeswax candles are the only candles that purify the air instead of adding pollutants. I love to burn beeswax candles, especially in the winter when all the windows are shut and everyone is snuggled inside.
However you spend your holidays this year,
I hope they are merry & bright & totally