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Embracing Hygge

Adding a hint of Scandinavian ‘hygge’ to your holiday traditions.

The Scandinavian concept of “hygge” is a time-honored winter tradition that has lasted for generations. Deriving from the Danish word hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) meaning “to give courage, comfort, joy,” it has become a recent “buzz word” to describe a mood of coziness and comfort with feelings of wellness and contentment – exactly what you long for during winter months! Taking hints from our Viking neighbors, here are some tips to add a little more coziness into your annual celebrations.


While candles are often reserved for evenings with guests, imagine waking to a bowl of steaming oatmeal, tuning the radio to a jazz station, and lighting a scented candle as an accompaniment. Welcoming the element of fire into your home quickly brings your senses to the present moment. There is calmness in letting your eyes gaze at a flickering wick or to walking into a room with the aroma of holiday traditions brought by candles with familiar and comforting scents. Natural scents attune your nose, as well as your memories, to times spent in nature. The wonderful nostalgia of hanging ornaments while nestled between the branches of a pine can be encapsulated in a candle. In fact, with Danish brand Skandinavisk, ‘hygge’ is a scent of its own.

Walking in Nature

Fill your lungs with a deep and satisfying breath of mother natures own winter brew - fresh air. For many of us, we spend the majority of this time of year under a roof or transporting ourselves from one indoor space to another. We don’t allow ourselves time under the open sky and we miss out on taking a moment to pause from our daily routines to appreciate the nature that surrounds. Take the time to seek out a walk amongst trees along a path that mirrors the ocean or a river, and be amazed by the depths of peace that transcend.

Inviting People into Your Home

It is the time of year for celebrating and one to share with your nearest and dearest. Take inspiration from our articles on how to decorate elegantly for the holidays and what to do when entertaining, to prepare and look forward to surround yourself with those you love.

Pick up a Book

Get lost in the stories of another era, a different place, or a different space. Opening up the pages of a novel allow our minds to become fascinated with someone else's view of the world, fictional or otherwise. In the northern hemisphere, the skies outside our windows become ever darker at this time of year, and with it the longing to hibernate, become stronger. Embrace the ‘hygge’ of curling up with a book and, to really add a Scandinavian twist, get lost in the Nordic noir of Norway’s Jo Nesbø or Swedens Stieg Larsson, of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo’s fame. For a lighter touch, look to A Winters Book by Finnish author (known for the Moomins) Tove Jansson.

Switch Off from the Online World

Alerts trigger on our phones and emails ping endlessly into inboxes like confetti at a wedding. For many of us, the online world tirelessly asks for our involvement, both socially and professionally. It can be a wonderful place to connect with others no matter their location, but it can also pull our attention away from enjoying the people around us and the memories we are making in the present. This holiday season, set boundaries on when and how you wish to be contacted by simply switching your phone to silent and closing your laptop. Allow yourself to be present with friends and family, and to honor how you wish to feel this season rather than fulfilling someone else’s agenda. Your presence is a present after all.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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  • Entertaining at Home

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