The first hint of a winter chill is in the air, and for many, that immediately brings thoughts of cozying up indoors as the days get shorter and more cold and dark.
Can you already imagine the feel of being under a warm blanket, a cup of hot cocoa in hand, and the soft, warm glow of twinkling lights in the room? If so, you’re not alone. It’s one of the best feelings!
Last year, I stumbled upon a Danish concept that summarized the above perfectly and something that I already in hindsight practiced: hygge. More than just a word, hygge is a lifestyle and it’s about embracing warmth, coziness, and all of life’s simple pleasures, especially during the winter months.
So, if you’re curious about this simple, warm, but joyous lifestyle and how you can transform your holidays into a hygge Christmas this winter, you’re in the right place.
What is Hygge?
Hygge, pronounced as “hue-gah“, originates from an Old Norwegian word that means well-being and protection from the elements of the outside. It’s a concept and culture that stemmed from Denmark’s very long, cold, and dreary winters and is so important to the Danish people.
By practicing Hygge and filling their homes with love and comfort, it mentally helped the people from there to combat these really hard winters.
So what exactly is hygge?
Hygge is a feeling, not something that is attainable by purchasing something tangible.
Instead, it’s a mix of feeling cozy and comfortable alongside laughter, friendship, family, and homemade food and drinks that are appropriate for the season.
When I found the concept of hygge, it hit me that this was the exact feeling that I already tried to enact in my life in the wintertime. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind why this had become so popular all around the world.
Why You Should Practice Hygge For The Holidays
Although hygge can technically be achieved at any time of the year, it’s more associated with the winter time.
Since hygge is all about uplifting your spirit during the long, dreary, dark winter months, the holidays are the perfect time to start practicing this way of being if you tend to feel sad and depressed from the weather.
Ways To Practice Hygge This Winter
You might be practicing hygge already unintentionally. Here are some ideas you can add to your toolkit if you’re looking for more ways to add hygge into your life this holiday.
1. Make Your Home A Comforting Space
An easy way to achieve hygge is to turn your home into a very comforting space. Since your home is going to be where you spend the majority of your time outside of work, it’s great to invest in making sure your surrounding is going to be comforting.
If you have a lot of clutter, it’s time to declutter things that are just taking up space and are junk to you.
How can you make your home more comforting? Here are some hygge decorating ideas.
Choose cozy textures
From blankets to linens, it’s important to choose the right textures for your home decor to be cozy.
So for couch and sofa throws, try to get soft and fluffy blankets that would make you just want to curl up under them with a book on a cold day or night.
You can also add lots of faux fur and plush elements to your home decor if you choose to add decoration pieces for the holidays.
Use warm lights
Next, to create a hygge vibe this holiday, choose to use warm lights all around your home. Avoid white lights as they don’t promote the feeling of warmth.
You can add warm string lights, set up a fire if you have a natural or electric fireplace, and set up candles all around (more about these later on in the post).
You might be surprised at just how important lighting is to put you into a certain state of mind.
Play Soothing Music
Another way to make your home feel comfortable is to play soothing music that puts you in a calm and happy mood.
There are tons of Youtube channels that have calm background music that are themed and have beautiful visuals in the background that you can cast on your smart TV. You can also opt to choose different playlists with soothing music on Spotify.
2. Set up a Christmas tree
Ramp up the holiday spirit by cutting down your own tree with your family and then decorating it after you bring it home. Make this a fun family hygge tradition that you do every year with your loved ones.
Nowadays, farms where you can cut your own trees are getting more popular. So you can either cut your own tree or find a farm where they cut them down for you. Then strap it to your car and it’s time to go home.
Once you’re home, it’s time to get decorating with your family. As this is all about the hygge experience, it’s important to make sure you put it up with love and laughter. Make it as festive and as cozy as possible. You can play some holiday music, light some handles, make some cocoa, and whatever else gets you into the holiday spirit.
Having a Christmas tree in the home can really tie the whole vibe together and put a constant smile on your face when you see it.
Check out my list of Christmas tree decorations here you can add to your tree.
3. Make Your Home Smell Nice & Comforting
Did you know that scents can truly change your mood? Not only that, it can help you recall certain memories and change how you connect and interact with other people.
In terms of memories, people can still remember a scent 65% correctly after one year versus visual memory where it goes down to 50% after a few months.
I’m sure you’ve experienced the phenomenon of smelling one of your favorite foods that your mom cooked as a child and that smell transported you right back to that memory.
So, use this to your advantage and make your home smell great by adding scents that will boost your mood.
Candles are an easy way to make your home smell more festive. It not only helps bring a festive fragrance to the room, but the dim, warm light also helps with giving the place a more cozy feel.
There are so many different types of winter scents you can choose from. Some include:
- Cinnamon apple
- Warm vanilla
- Vanilla bean latte
- Sugar cookies
- Candy cane
Need some wintery candle ideas that will bring a warm, cozy feel? Check these out below.
Add Fresh Plants
Another great way to add a comforting smell to your home is to include fresh, calming plants in your space.
Use a freshly cut Christmas fir tree (like mentioned above), a wreath, winter-season flowers like poinsettias, or even tree branches.
4. Make Your Favorite Holiday Treats & Meals
In addition to bringing a delicious smell to your home, baking your favorite holiday treats and cooking meals at home can add a very joyous feeling and can be very soothing.
From delicious stews, pot pies, cookies, and cinnamon apple pies, to homemade bread, these are so comforting on a cold, dark, and dreary winter day.
Create Your Own Family Traditional Recipes
Baking and cooking are a great part of hygge, especially if it’s done with family and friends. It’s more fun that way!
Keeping family traditions alive too where you make old family recipes is part of the culture. You teach your children how to make these recipes and when they are older and have their own families, they continue on the tradition.
Write down your recipes and put them in a recipe box so that the tradition can be passed down from generation to generation.
Gift Your Treats
In addition, hygge is even better when you gift your homemade treats to a friend to spread the holiday cheer to them.
Just wrap up your delicious treats in a cute little gift wrap. It’ll be sure to put a smile on their face!
5. Host your friends and family
Hosting your extended family and friends at your home can be very heartwarming and full of laughter and fun.
Make your favorite heartwarming dishes and decorate your home in the most cozy way to extend the idea of hygge to others.
Make sure not to stress over these gatherings and keep them as low-key as possible as you’re trying to promote a relaxed and homey feel.
6. Through Gifting
Last but not least, a great way to spread joy in the winter months is to give gifts to your loved ones.
A hygge gift is well-intentioned and may be homemade or something cozy for their home.
Gifts For The Home
Since hygge in the winter months is all about warmth, cozy, and joyous feelings, finding a gift that will help them achieve this in their home is a definite no-brainer.
You can gift cozy textiles such as pillows, throws, or blankets. As well, candles can help create that warm cozy feeling so these are a great idea as well.
Another fun gift is to give a hygge gift box that has hot chocolate, a spoon, and a mug – a perfect kit for them to make their own delicious hot chocolate. These would be perfect for a cold, winter day where they can snuggle under a blanket with a book or watch a Christmas movie.
It’s all about spreading holiday cheer and giving more joy than receiving.
Wrap It Well
Presenting your gift well is just as important as the gift itself. Choose a gift wrap that is both festive and creative.
You can use gift wrap that has cute festive motifs such as birds, nutcrackers, nature, or snow, or even a knit stocking that you make yourself.
7. Wear cozy Loungewear
A hygge lifestyle is all about feeling comfortable and that includes the clothes that you wear. So if you’re not in comfy clothes that spark joy to you, it’s time to declutter and switch up your wardrobe.
You want to feel cozy all the time so find loungewear that are a soft texture and feel really nice to the touch. Don’t forget to add in warm socks or faux fur slippers to keep your toes warm.
Hygge Winter Activities
Now that you know what hygge is and how to practice it, you’ll want to check out these hygge activities to do this winter.
Outdoor Hygge Winter Activities
1. Cut your own Christmas tree at a tree farm.
2. Make snowmen with your family the morning after a snowstorm.
3. Embark on a winter hike to see the icicles on the trees.
4. Walk around the neighborhood and look at your neighbor’s holiday lights.
5. Make snow angels with your kids.
6. Have a friendly snowball fight.
7. Go on a cozy drive to see a Christmas light show.
8. Go ice fishing while you drink a warm beverage.
9. Add festive lights to your home outside.
10. Go on a hike and find pine needles to make pine needle tea at home.
Indoor Hygge Winter Activities
1. Make delicious homemade meals from scratch from stews to shepherd’s pie.
2. Invite your family and friends over to share a heartwarming meal together.
3. Set up your Christmas tree that you cut down and decorate it (or put up an artificial tree if you don’t want to DIY).
4. Read a book by the fireplace with a hot cup of cocoa.
5. Watch a heartwarming Christmas movie.
6. Write Christmas cards to your friends and family and mail them out.
7. Bake delicious treats and wrap them to give to your friends and family.
8. Knit a sweater or scarf for your favorite people.
9. Make DIY Christmas tree ornaments.
10. Decorate your home with cozy accents and home decor pieces.
If you’re looking to bring simple happiness, joy, and comfort to your life in the dark and long dreary months of winter, be sure to use my tips above on how to hygge your home and activities that will create lasting memories with family and friends that will be remembered well into the future. Have a wonderful and relaxing holiday season!
More Ways To Have A Cozy Winter Season
- The Ultimate Christmas Bucket List: 45 Fun Holiday Activities
- 30 Hygge Gifts Ideas For A Cozy Christmas
- 40 Thoughtful Self-Care & Wellness Gifts
- 25 Festive Holiday Home Decor Ideas
- 50 Fun Winter Date Ideas For Couples
- How To Beat The Winter Blues
What are you doing to practice hygge at home this winter? Let me know in the comments!