Adding Magic & Coziness to the Holidays
Tis’ the season to hygge! The weather is getting colder, pumpkin is added to everything and the whisper of Christmas is getting louder. It is the best time to hygge with your family!
What is hygge, you might be wondering. Well, let me tell you!
Hygge (pronounced “hyoo-guh) is derived from a Norwegian word for “well-being.” It is everything cozy, warm, and meaningful. Hygge is the ritual of slowing down, being present, and prioritizing the people in your life. It is wearing your favorite hoody, taking a candle lit bubble bath, drinking wine while reading your favorite book, and savoring bites of rich, dark (and dare I say moist) chocolate cake. It’s finding contentment and joy in the small things.
Hygge is “an art of creating intimacy.” For my family, hygge is making bubble beards in the bath tub, baking semi-healthy cookies together, reading on the front porch, and hiking while finding the perfect rock to take home.
We are fortunate to live in one the most beautiful states in America as well as one of the most beautiful cities in the state. Our homes are nestled against the Rocky Mountains; Pikes Peak majestically towers over our city and our sky is so blue that it rivals the ocean. We live in a city that is practically oozing in hygge. There is Hygge in every nook and around every corner in Colorado Springs.
Are you ready for some hygge in your life? Here are four steps to create hygge with your family this fall and winter season.
Step 1. Go on adventures!
Plan a secret mission to find the perfect gold leaf or to find the biggest and muddiest puddle to jump in. Have you ever gone hiking in the snow? One of my favorite places is Garden of the Gods and it is pure magic in the winter; like walking through Narnia.
When was the last time you skipped in a meadow or a forest? You may think frolicking is just for princesses and fairies, but it is actually a critical aspect of the locomotive continuum. (When your body moves through space from one location to another.) It is just as imperative to movement as learning to crawl and walk.
Want to know the best part?
Adding in a little hygge to your weekly activities is free, doesn’t add any more time, and is a great way to add a little excitement into an everyday outing.
Next time you go hiking in Black Forest, skip as far as you can with your kids. Not only will you be sneaking a workout into your day, but you will also be helping your family increase motor development, proprioception (awareness of what your body is doing), and burn some energy (aka calories).
I bet you are wondering how hygge fits in with all of this.
Take a moment and imagine you are going on a walk with your family, holding hands, stomping on crunchy leaves, looking up into the Toy Story like perfect clouds, and sipping homemade hot chocolate. You are using all five senses; enveloped in laughter and warmth, all the while making memories. Those feelings of joy, intimacy, and contentment are what hygge is all about. Having an adventure along the way is icing on the cake!
If you are not the outdoorsy type and cold weather is not your friend, that is all right! There are many adventures to be had indoors, as well. However, I challenge you to brave the great outdoors even for a little bit and channel your inner Elsa. The cold doesn’t bother our kids and we shouldn’t let the weather hold us back from exploring.
As the Scandinavians say, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” So, bundle up and let go, enjoy the moments you wish you could freeze forever.
Step 2. Get cozy!
William Morris wrote, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
I love this idea and I have made it my mission to only fill my house with things that are useful and beautiful. Some of my favorite things to fill my house with are plants, flowers, candles, fluffy pillows and soft blankets. Not only does this provide beauty, a little luxury and comfort, but it creates restfulness and coziness, which is a pivotal aspect of hygge.
Hanging twinkling fairy lights and lighting delicious smelling candles are the perfect place to begin creating an atmosphere of warmth and coziness. Did you know, it is estimated that the Danes go through an average of 13 pounds of candle wax per person a year!?
My personal favorite way to hygge is by reading together! Cuddling with my kids, surrounded by fluffy pillows, buried in soft blankets with candles nearby, all the while reading a story that takes us far away is for me, the closest thing to heaven.
Discover what happens when you hang lights, light a fire, or let candles burn while hanging out at home. You’ll find that the day’s stress fades away as your joy in the moment swells and the conversation dances. There’s no rush – just let hygge work its magic. Then, find a cozy corner to burrow in and cocoon yourself in the charm of storytelling and feed your imagination.
Step 3. Make something delicious!
I love snow days! Even though my school days are far behind me, I still love the idea of cancelling the day and staying home with my family. The creativity, laughter, games, and fun that ensues is pure magic!
One of the best parts of staying home all day is spending time in the kitchen as a family. This means embracing the inevitable chaos and mess while soaking in the rich aroma of baked goods, spices, and sweetness of bare feet pattering around the kitchen to help.
Ready for a bonus baking tip?
When I think of hygge foods, the first thing I think of is chocolate. Did you know that chocolate is actually healthy? To be specific, cacao is really good for your body. Cacao is high in calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sulfur, zinc, and antioxidants. It helps increase energy, improve brain function and improves heart health. So, instead of processed chocolate try adding some raw organic cacao to your baked treats for some extra goodness!
I know that baking and cooking with little ones can be difficult (insert spilled flour and dropped eggs), but there are such precious memories to be made while sneaking bites of cookie dough, wiping of flour from little faces, and teaching the correct way to crack an egg.
Emily Dickinson wrote, “That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.”
In Short… Pursue Simplicity!
As a thousand people have probably already told you, they grow up so fast and they only stay little for a short while. Hygge is an opportunity to slow down and delight in our kids; and the kitchen is the perfect place to do that.
What is hygge? At it’s simplest, it’s a feeling of contentment.
And couldn’t we all use a bit more contentment and a feeling of coziness and well-being in our lives? Maybe hygge is what will keep the holiday season feeling slow and enchanting versus rushed and busy.
Hygge is pursuing simplicity, it is savoring every moment, and making memories that will last a lifetime. As the infamous tumultuous Colorado weather rolls in and you being to lean into the business of the holiday season, I encourage you to add a little hygge into your life.
Happy hygge to you and your family! Time to light some candles!