The Christmas season can seem hectic with all the shopping that needs to get done and all the family that you have to visit. There’s a lot to get done in such a short amount of time that you can forget about the beauty of the holiday season. I love the Christmas season because I get to transform my home into a cozy winter wonderland. I’ve written many posts on how to make your home the coziest place it can be with a few simple changes to your decor but it’s not just about how you decorate your home that makes it a cozy place. It’s about what you bake, what you wear, and how you spend your time.
Hygge is a cultural idea originating in Denmark which has become a global phenomenon over the past few years. Pronounced ‘hoo-ga’ this simple word has no exact English translation, but represents a feeling of simple, cozy contentment and well being, the type of feeling you’ll experience when you’re curled up in front of a roaring fire on a frosty night. Hygge is mostly a winter month type of lifestyle but it can also be experienced all year long, even during the warmer months.
As Christmas approaches, hygge only becomes more enjoyable. Soft Christmas lights and the smell of pine needles. An influx of family and friends. Crackling fires and tasty treats. Soft lighting with cozy blankets, hot drinks, mulled wine and board games. This way of living is all about enjoying the simple pleasures of life. Taking the time to enjoy the small comforts in a cozy, relaxing, intimate way either by ourselves or in the company of a few friends or family. Now that winter is officially here, with all that it brings – short days, cold nights, snow and beautiful scenery.
Cozy Blankets & Sweaters
You may want to dress us in a cute dress and heels for Christmas but is that what you want to spend the entire day wearing? The holiday for me is all about running downstairs in your pajamas to see all the presents that were under the tree. Then you stay in those pj’s all day until dinner time when you actually put on nice clothing. If you can’t spend all day in your pajamas, you can opt-in for a comfy knit sweater, fleece leggings, and UGG boots. I also make sure to have a lot of throws and blankets in the living room so that if people are cold, they can bundle up.
Now Christmas may not be all about food like Thanksgiving is but the food is still very important. For Christmas Day breakfast, you can have a spread of eggnog french toast with fruit or cinnamon-flavored waffles. This year I am hosting Christmas Eve dinner on the 24th and we are having an Italian feast. Lasagna, garlic bread, fried calamari, cheese and salami and much more. I know a lot of families like to have ham or turkey for their Christmas meal but we’ve always had Italian food. For dessert, I have Pizzella wafers and gingerbread cake and cookies.
Make sure to also have hot chocolate drinks and spiked eggnog for a truly cozy fun Christmas drink.
Light all the Candles
Candles are very important to have in your home during the colder months. I love coming home and lighting a candle right away so that it smells nice and it instantly relaxes me. Lighting is very important in terms of coziness for your home. Try to avoid very bright overhead lights if possible and have either dimmable lights or strategically places lamps around your home. For Christmas, you can place different sizes and types of candles in the rooms that you’ll be spending the most time in. Put a white one by the front door to welcome your guests, you can put red and green candles on the coffee and dining room table as well as one in the bathroom.
Once everyone has left, turn off all the lights in the room except for the string lights on the Christmas tree. Turn on your favorite holiday movie and drink some hot chocolate. That is the ultimate Christmas coziness right there. If you don’t have a fireplace to light like me, you can turn on the Yule Log movie on Netflix or YouTube that shows a fireplace and softly plays Christmas music.
Bring the Outside In
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to decorate your home for Christmas. Bringing outdoor elements inside your home will make the space feel cozy and natural. A thing that everyone does is bring in an evergreen tree and decorate it with lights and family ornaments. You can also have those greens placed on the fireplace mantel, as a table centerpiece or as a wreath on your door.
There are many ideas on Pinterest on how you can use outdoor elements like pine cones and branches to make your home more seasonal. I’ve always wanted to try making cranberry garland for the tree and drying out oranges to place in a vase on the dining room table. You can also create a Christmassy aroma in the room by combining cinnamon, nutmeg, water, and orange in a pot on the stove.
“Hygge was never meant to be translated. It was meant to be felt.”