At this very moment, I'm snuggled on my couch with one of my favorite cozy throws. A glass of Malbec sits on my coffee table and our fireplace is lending warmth and ambiance. Dusk is settling in and, as if it couldn't get any better, while I sit here writing, through my living room window I see that giant, fat snowflakes have begun falling softly to the ground.
Friends, while I'm a firm believer of embracing Hygge in each and every season, for me, winter is the absolute best time of year to cultivate it's cozy atmosphere. And here in the small Alberta town where I live, winter is well on it's way.
For some, those words tend evoke a sense of tranquility in you, as they do for me. You look forward to cozy nights snuggled in the warmth of your home with the people you love. But for others, those are fighting words. Some of you find that the cold, dark days seem to weigh heavily upon you. While some of us look forward to the long, quiet evenings indoors, there are those of us that find that prospect, slightly claustrophobic.
Whichever category you tend to find yourself in, embracing Hygge will most definitely enrich your winter living experiences. Whether Hygge has been a part of your life for years, or whether you've just recently stumbled upon this traditional, Danish way of life, I hope, through this list, you can find at least a few, new and unexpected ways, to embrace Hygge in your home and in family this winter.
1. Switch out your cotton sheets to flannel sheets.
You can find inexpensive flannel sheets in most home goods stores but, if you are able, I would encourage you invest in a high quality set. They will last longer and they really are, so much more luxurious!
2. Layer your bed with a faux fur throw or two.
Don't worry about making it look neat and tidy. Instead, just drape it (or them) loosely at the foot or near the pillows. The relaxed, cozy look will leave you longing for bedtime!
3. Buy a set of "winter" mugs.
My sister-in-law put me on to this. She likes her mugs to reflect the current season and gosh darn it! How brilliant is that???
4.Build a hot cocoa bar.
During the winter, hot cocoa is a staple in out home. And while it's delicious on it's own, it's even better with whipped cream. And salted caramel sauce. And crushed candy cane. And cinnamon. And mini marshmallows....... you get the idea. When it comes to hot cocoa, MORE is definitely better!
5. Have a backyard fire pit.
Fire pits aren't just for camping, folks. On a balmy winter's day, light up the pit, and roast wieners and marshmallows. And while your at it, drink luxuriously indulgent hot cocoa from your new winter mugs!
6. Eat breakfast for supper.
Oven pancakes with real maple syrup, fresh fruit and bacon. Yummy!
Or better yet.....
7. Eat banana splits for supper!
Why not? A treat once in a while won't hurt. Add chopped nuts, strawberries, bananas, (obviously!) fresh pineapple chunks, chocolate and caramel sauce, and whipped cream. Decadence in a bowl!
8. Create a family playlist.
Spend an evening sharing favorite songs and put them all on one playlist. Then, play it during a family fun night!
9. Camp out in the living room.
Pull in sleeping bags, or even grab the blankets off your beds. A living room camp-out is a fun way to take a tiny holiday right in your own home.
10. Declare a morning movie date.
This is even better if you have a T.V. in your bedroom. Drink your coffee while snuggled in bed with your spouse or even the whole family, and watch a favorite movie!
11. Play hide and seek in the dark.
You're never too old for a game of hide and seek. Switch off all the lights in the house and give everyone a flashlight. You'll be surprised at how much fun you'll have!
12. Have a bubble bath.
Light a few, or a lot! of candles. Play some soft music. Pour a glass of icy cold Chardonnay. Then just soak in the Hygge vibes!
13. Write a letter.
Like, actually sit down at the kitchen table, and hand write a letter to a loved one far removed. A friend once told me that people don't just read your hand writing, they hear it. It's so true, friends. Whenever I follow a hand-written recipe from my mom, I can actually hear her voice as I read it. Imagine a loved one being able to hear your voice through a letter they've just received.
14. Start up a pen-pal relationship with someone!
15. Hit the local library for a book to read together as a family.
16. Cook supper together as a family.
Make something as elaborate or as simple as you like. Taco's are always a favorite for my family to make together.
17. Build a snowman.
And a snow dog. And a snow horse. And....... whatever you and your family can dream up!
18. Put the kids to bed and have a date night with your spouse, right in your home.
Cook a nice dinner, or order in. Pull the bistro table in from outside and set it up in your room. Light the candles. Listen to music. This a favorite way my husband and I like to Hygge together!
19. Buy matching jammies for the family.
20. Buy yourself a a pair of luxurious reading socks or slippers.
21. Sew a family quilt.
Pull together outgrown or discarded clothing from each family member. Cut them into squares and then sew them into a quilt. How wonderful to have a blanket that represents each person in your home!
22. Pull out all the family photo albums and re-live all your memories together.
23. Make a crazy video for the grandparents.
Your kids will love making it and their grandparents will love watching it. Win, win!
24. Try a new recipe.
You know, the one you've always wanted to try but never felt brave enough to do it? Do it! If it flops, oh well. At least you tried!
25. Host a potluck supper with friends.
26. Buy a plant.
Real, living plants add so much life to a home!
27. Schedule a weekend baking bee.
Plan for a day of baking. Stock the freezer with sweets and treats for the weeks to come.
28. Have a picnic in your living room.
Spread a few quilts on the floor and enjoy a fun, relaxed atmosphere while you eat your dinner together.
29. Invite a few friends over for an evening of wine and a Charcuterie board.
(Um, invite me!)
30. Buy a hot-water bottle. And use it.
31. Declare a pajama day.
If it can't be done in your jammies, it doesn't get done. (There's always tomorrow!)
32. Host a Hygge movie night for one! (Or two! Or for a few more!)
33. Attend a wine and paint night with a friend or two.
Winter can be long and hard. But, with a little thought and a little effort, it can be so very beautiful, too! Take a little time and invest a little money into cultivating a cozy, Hygge ambiance in your home and your family. You and your family will be so glad you did!