So it’s the New Year, and if you’re anything like me, enduring an Ohio winter is simply not worth it after Christmas. I think this is because the motivation of a white Christmas is behind us and I’m just ready to get to spring break. I’ve noticed that I tend to think of this time of year as my very least favorite with its black ice and dry hair and the flu. SO, I am newly obsessed with the the Danish concept of Hygge.
A loose definition of hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) is, “The art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive. Also to create well-being, connection, and warmth with a feeling of belonging to the moment and each other. It is the celebration of the everyday.”
If that doesn’t sound like a cure for the winter blues, I do not know what does. Hygge is a concept and a way of life so it can be applied in countless ways, but it is naturally endeared with a sense of celebration that is normally absent during these long months. Where the Christmas season is full of hustle and bustle, full of bright colors and lights and big parties, hygge calls for soft, quiet, clean, and cozy.
I’ve been in the deep end of researching this idea, mainly through Pinterest and the books below (which I wholeheartedly recommend), and I’ve reduced the concept to a few key ideas that work in my American life. Here are my recommendations for a very Hygge New Year.
1. Cozy Fabrics
Basically, knits, flannels, and linen. Hygge leans in heavily to the idea of tactile comfort, like when you are deep in your flannel sheets at the end of a long day or wrapped in your warmest sweater at a bonfire, or snuggled in a huge knit blanket while watching a movie. Comfort can be straightforward, so oversized, soft, and crazy warm is our goal here.
2. Clean Decor
This speaks right to my heart. If you’ve ever been in my house, you know that I LOVE white. My couches, pillows, duvet, dishes, you name it, it’s white. I think the reason is that it reminds me of open clean spaces. There is nothing better than being able to pick up a dish or a blanket at the store in any shade of white and knowing it will go with my decor because I’ve chosen to keep it clean and simple. Homegoods, by the way, is your friend.
3. Warm Drinks in Good Mugs
Taking the time to make stovetop hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows or a steaming hot toddy or spiced warm apple cider is so good for the soul. It gives you something to do with your hands while your brain takes a break and is as easy and quick as can be. When served in a good quality enamel or ceramic mug in front of an honest to God crackling fire (or just the one on Netflix) it just can’t be beat. Here are some scrumptious recipes that Ben and I have loved.
4. Gathering Around the Table
You might remember from my goal setting post last week that one of my big goals for 2018 is to practice hospitality every chance I get and to take time to be creative. This one falls in line with both of those goals. Gathering people in your home is a holy pursuit, I mean it. When your people come together over a table it gives us the feeling of family and connection that research shows us that improves our health and general well-being, extending our life span and increasing our joy. Winter is the perfect time for a soup party. I’m linking up my favorite cookbook for soups, my go-to recipe for homemade bread, and our all time favorite white chicken chili recipe that is perfect for parties.
5. Light & Books
The final central tenet in practicing hygge is curating beautiful light. Overhead lighting and especially LED lighting washes us out and makes our homes look clinical and even dirty. Warm lamp light, twinkle lighting, and candle light adds to the cozy, safe, and warm feeling of our homes in winter. The ways I’m using good lighting are when reading a thick and well worn novel under a lamp, creating a hygge inspired nook with floor pillows and twinkly lights and a basket of throw blankets, and eating dinner by candle light.
Hygge embraces the idea that the things we touch, see, smell, hear, and taste are vitally important to our peace of mind and wholeness of being over the winter months. If you have specific recipes, books, or music that are getting you through these cold months, comment below!
Welcome! I'm a wife, third year music teacher, Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I kick off this adult life.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."