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Have you heard of Hygge yet?
Hygge is the Danish and Norwegian culture of simplicity, coziness, and finding joy in being together.
Hygge is becoming a more familiar idea and popular philosophy because in our busy lives we are all in need of peace, comfort, and good experiences with each other.
We’re looking for experiences that leave us feeling connected with others, especially those closest to us.
Experiences that fill our cup rather than leaving us feeling drained, exhausted, and frazzled.
Connection, comfort, and the art of cozy is so often lacking in our day-to-day lives.
We spend money we can’t afford to and waste our time with other people and obligations when, so often, we would rather be home with our families.
Honestly, it’s time for us to stop.
Let’s make this holiday season the start of a return to simplicity, joy, and togetherness.
Hygge encourages a return to simplicity, to enjoying simple pleasures with our friends and families and to create a cozy home.
That means instead of focusing on huge gestures and extravagant performances, we can just sit back in each other’s presence and just be.
This is how we push back against the demands of modern living.
This is how we reclaim our peace.
I hope this holiday season, you’ll give Hygge a chance.
Here are a few holiday hygge experiences that I hope you get to enjoy this year.
An amazing sugar cookie
As far as complications go, the sugar cookie is a pretty basic bake.
You don’t need many ingredients or a lot of effort.
I wish you many warm evenings by your stove, rolling and cutting with the people who you care for most.
Baking side by side is a great way to enjoy time with your family and bond.
Not to mention the fun family memories you’ll create designing, cooking, and eating those cookies!
Baking with my mom is one of my favorite childhood holiday memories and I can’t wait to share that with my daughter too!
So, I hope you’ll set aside some time for a fun afternoon of baking (and eating!) together.
A cozy blanket by the Christmas tree
When the day’s grind has slowed down and you are finally at peace, I hope that you decide to take a moment to sit, wrapped in your coziest blanket, by the warmth of your Christmas tree.
Enjoy the lights, and the beautiful packages you have wrapped.
Really soak in the atmosphere you have created for yourself.
We do all of this decorating and scrambling, and often we discover that the holidays have ended and we didn’t get to enjoy them at all.
Spend the evenings snuggled up and admiring the fruits of your labor.
Warm drinks and a cool friend
You’re likely going to have visitors as the holiday season approaches.
Some might be family, some friends.
It’s a great chance to reconnect with people, and catch up over a warm cup of coffee, or hot cocoa swirled with whipped cream.
Many families find themselves scattered throughout the country (or internationally) and the holidays are one of the few times that you all are able to get together.
Really take the time to be present with your visitors.
Drop the cell phones, the agendas, the worries about the past and the future and just bask in each other’s presence.
Have meaningful conversations, share some laughs, and maybe even a few tears together.
When was the last time you were able to fully enjoy someone’s company with no distractions?
How many more opportunities will you have?
The presence of our friends and family is the true gift of the holiday season; let’s not waste it.
After all, these are the moments that become memories.
You may even decide to try this with your own family (ya know…the people you see everyday).
You might be surprised at how different family life is when you are fully present with each other.
I like to keep in mind that there are only so many holidays when we all will be together – only so many Christmases when the magic of Santa and reindeer will light up little ones’ eyes.
The years will pass far too quickly.
The little ones will grow up so fast.
The older ones won’t always be here to share the holidays with us.
Let’s not miss out on this magical time of year.
A good book and a warm fire
This holiday season, I hope you have the time to sit down and take in the coziness of a warm fire.
There’s something so cozy and comforting about sitting next to a warm fire on a cold night in the winter.
While you’re there, I hope you can pick up a book you’ve been wanting to read – or maybe a book to read aloud.
You may even find that you start a new family Christmas tradition.
No fireplace in site?
Instead of lighting a fire, turn down the lights and put a few candles around for that warm glow.
You could even have dinner by candlelight for some added cozy atmosphere.
Unlike so many of the latest crazes that are commercialized for our consumption, you can’t really buy your way into understanding hygge.
I’m truly grateful for that.
Some things are just not for sale.
Sure, you can buy some things to make your home cozier.
But at its heart, Hygge is about a state of mind.
Hygge is about what makes you and your family feel cozy, safe, and joyful.
It’s a lifestyle that has to be embraced and practiced – not just at Christmas, but all year-long.
It’s all about living comfortably and appreciating simplicity – in home, family, and life.
So this year, and in all the holidays to come, I hope your holiday is full of joy, peace, and hygge.