Cozy Home for the Holidays
Ways to make your home cozy and comfy
Happy, Homely, Hygge
Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a Danish-term that describes a feeling of pleasure derived from simple acts of daily life. From making a cup of coffee to lighting a candle, hygge encompasses the happiness we find in the little things. For the Danes, this act of choosing pleasure in small, daily rituals helps combat winter, which for Denmark involves many months of cold, dark nights. While there’s no direct translation in English, we can closely relate the term to words like “comfort” and “cozy.” According to The New Yorker, hygge is derived from the Norwegian word hugga, meaning “to comfort” and is related to the English word for “hug.” In a way, snuggling up with a soft blanket, a mug of hot chocolate and an old favorite movie can feel like a hug—and that’s the idea of hygge.
This feeling isn’t absent outside of Scandinavia. In America, it probably comes along, say, around Christmastime each year. But here, where being busy is exalted and little things are happily overlooked in favor of big-picture items like advancing a career and buying a new home, it seems like the mindset of hygge could never belong.
Wrong. Hygge surprisingly found a niche, and a big one at that, across the pond last year and the idea became increasingly popular. Books, articles, and design trends galore sprouted up, especially in the wake of winter.
It should be emphasized that hygge is not a thing or a trend; it’s not bought, given or lost—it is a mindset. One must actively choose to find happiness in a pair of warm socks and a fireplace, despite the stress of the day or the winter storm raging outside. However, there are a few ways to encourage that cozy feeling this season by creating comfortable spaces in your home and making tedious tasks enjoyable. Here’s what we recommend to feel happy and hygge in the coming months. Who knows—maybe you’ll actually enjoy winter this year.
Make a Cup of Tea (or coffee)
Skip the Starbucks line for a day and make something special for yourself. This means no tea bag or instant coffee either. Put on a kettle and properly brew a cup of loose leaf tea or fresh ground coffee. Sometimes it helps to pour your warm drink into a favorite mug or a pretty teacup.
Cozy Up the Living Room
Part of hygge is the connection with loved ones and friends. Warm up the entertaining spaces in your home with fluffy pillows, knitted blankets, dim lighting and plenty of scented candles. Pour mugs of hot apple cider, hot cocoa, or tea with your friends and get comfy!
Flowers or fresh greenery are always a great way to liven up a room. Instead of seeing a trip to the florist as another task to complete, make a special trip of it and have fun. Choose different stems and blooms and try to arrange your own vase at home.
Cook (or Bake) Something
Having dinner with friends is great for a Friday night, but this winter, try taking the fun to the kitchen instead. Collaborate on a meal for interactive togetherness. Working as a team takes the tediousness out of cooking (plus you get extra help with the dishes!)
Light the Fireplace
If you have a fireplace in your home, it’s the perfect time to gather ‘round. The warmth and smell of the hearth easily invokes comfort and content, so this tip is a no-brainer. Find a book or magazine (one with actual pages!) and relax for a few hours.