Hygge for the Holidays

Nov 8, 2023


/ˈh(y)o͞oɡə,ˈho͝oɡə/ - a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture). 

Hygge (pronounced "hoo-gah") has gained a lot of popularity or the past several years but has actually been around for centuries. It first appeared in Danish literature at the end of the 18th century with a general meaning of "well-being". The concept of Hygge can be applied to all aspects of life and all seasons, but the prominent season is typically winter. Because Denmark’s and Calgary’s winters are long and dark, it makes sense to bring some extra coziness and well-being into our lives around this time of year. 

“In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.”

So what are some ways we can “hyggefy” our homes this Holiday season?

When I think of coziness I think of soft blankets, warm lighting, and comforting food. Try adding blankets around your home - on the couch, the bed, and draping them from baskets in areas around the house can bring that coziness appeal into each room. I mean, who doesn’t love curling up in a fleece blanket when it’s -20 C outside?!

As we move into the winter season we should aim to mimic the dark/light cycles. Turn off those off those harsh blue lights at night and add some soft and warm lighting throughout the house.String lights can be an easy, cheap addition to add to the fire place mantle or draped across a window ledge. I love candles, not only for their aromas, but find they can bring the most warmth and coziness to a room. Some candles can be hazardous to our health so be sure to choose cleaner options like beeswax, soy, or coconut oil with natural essential oils for fragrance.

If you are sensitive to scents or don’t want open flames in your house, a Himalayan salt lamp can be a great alternative. With the warm pink tones similar to a sunset, these salt lamps can be a great addition to incorporate some hygge into your home. And they may even help increase mood and sleep!

If you are like me and don’t use a real tree for the holidays but love the smell of them, adding essential oils to your diffuser can bring all those woodsy, seasonal scents into your home. My go to’s are cedarwood, balsam fir, pine, and spruce – I like combining a few or rotating them individually, throughout the week. And bonus – you don’t have to worry about your dog drinking the tree water!

Holiday entertaining and social gatherings are in full swing this time of year so what better way to connect with loved ones than through sharing festive treats and drinks. Is anything more hygge than a cup of warm apple cider? Have it plain or add some warming spices like cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves. Serving Tip: Try adding the warm cider to individual clear mugs and add some fresh cranberries, oranges, and cinnamon sticks as a garnish! 

Filling our bellies with comfort food this time of year feels so nourishing. And even better than filling our bellies, sharing this food with loved ones fills our souls. While there are many ways to gather and connect through food, I love making a variety of charcuterie boards for my guests. Not only are they super fun to make, they are so delicious and aesthetically pleasing. If you dont know where to start, we have some "How To" guides that will wow your guests and meet all of their dietary requirements at the same time. Check them out HERE and HERE. So let your creative juices flow and make these for your next gathering or event!

By embracing the principles of hygge, you can transform your home into a haven of warmth and tranquility. It's not necessarily about extravagance but rather about creating a space that nurtures your well-being and allows you to find joy in the simple pleasures of life. So, light a candle, wrap yourself in a blanket, connect with loved ones. and savor the hygge moments this winter.