If winter comes with the blues for you, here are some things you can do to cozy up and embrace the holiday season. In this post we discuss how to hygge your home so that the winter season is happy and joyful. These easy hygge traditions will leave you loving winter.
Hygge (techncially pronounced hoo-ga, but I flat out called it hi-gee) is the Danish way of embracing coziness and comfort in day to day life. It is self care on steroids, which (let’s admit) is 100% necessary when its -20 degrees outside.
Hygge focuses on living in the present moment, enjoying the little things in life, and being content with all you have.
When temperatures fall and the winter season comes around, I find myself craving a little time to slow down, connect with friends, enjoy nature, and cozy up.
One of my favorite ways to welcome the holiday season has been to hygge-fy my home (can it be used as a verb? I’m doing it anyway.)
To me, having a hyggelig home makes the difference between taking time to connect with friends and family in a slow manner that fills my cup versus spending every weekend shopping because I don’t want to sit in my house or venture out into the cold.
If you’re looking for ways to simplify your Christmas, adding Hygge to your home and to your calendar is an excellent way to slow things down and recharge this winter.
Here are my top 10 tips for embracing a hygge holiday.
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Light It Right
Ceiling lights are usually too bright to give you the warm glow that you’re looking for in a cozy space.
If you want to create an environment that is relaxing and peaceful, finding the right amount of light in the right tone is key!
If your lights have dimmers, keep them on low! It creates that calming vibe that we all long for.
If not, consider adding a lamp with a warm glow to some of the corners of your rooms that you spend the most time in, and leave your ceiling lights off.
You can also add the warm glow of twinkle lights to your wall, window, or fireplace. Twinkle lights create so much coziness in one little spot.
And in addition to that, get in the habit of lighting candles all around your home.
There is nothing more magical than spending an evening with family, friends, or by yourself while a candle glows on the table beside you.
I have the luxury of working from home, and the first thing I do before sitting down at my desk is light a cinnamon candle. It’s almost as good as a home that smells of freshly baked cookies, and the temptation isn’t there!
If you can snag one of the candles that have a wooden wick, you’ll get to experience the wonder that is a crackle and pop sound along with your favorite scent.
And if you have a fireplace, light it up! Watching the flames flicker and working with real wood to heat your home feels amazing. We have a wood stove downstairs, but we ended up getting an electric fireplace for our living room so that we could cozy up on both levels of the house!
It helps make cold, dark mornings a little less dreary.
I love doing my morning routine on the couch under my twinkle lights with the fireplace glowing. I love reading my favorite books beside a lamp with a warm glow and some candles flickering before bed.
Using light to create a calm ambiance in your home is a lovely way to bring the concepts of coziness and comfort to life.
Cozy Up In Pillows And Blankets
If your couch is covered in cozy blankets and comfy pillows, you will want to bundle up with a cup of hot cocoa and read a good book.
Putting new covers on your pillows to match the winter theme gives your home a cohesive look, and entices you to enjoy the winter season.
I use the same pillows on my couch all year long, but we take out a few extra fleece blankets in the winter. Seeing them folded nicely over the back of the couch or on the blanket ladder makes me so happy when I come upstairs in the morning. Sitting down with a cup of coffee and a good book is made better when I can pull a couple of cozy blankets over me.
Last year, a friend and I arm knit a blanket with giant yarn and it remains one of my favorite blankets to this day. There are so many ways to add cozyness to your home, but blankets of different textures is one of the best ways.
I also replace the sheets on the beds with fleece sheets, and that’s how you know winter is coming in our house.
Play board games
We spend a lot of time outside in the summer and fall time, but as the winter weather makes it more challenging to gather outdoors every day we choose to gather with friends around a board game instead.
Board games bring us together and make us laugh. They create an environment where we can engage with each other and make memories, and they keep us from feeling isolated while we scroll through our phone for hours on end.
Get rid of the TV in your living room and, instead, create a space where you can gather to play a good board game.
We do this for date night, we do it when we have friends over, and we play board games every Friday night with the kiddos.
Here are some of our favorites for adults
Here are some of our favorites with the kids
Playing a good board game is a hobby that has been lost in this era of technology, but Netflix and Xboxes cannot replace the laughter that comes with engaging people around you in a challenging board game.
If you tend to feel lonely in the winter, start a standing board game night with your friends/family/neighbors.
Host a pot luck
Is it just me, or does everyone tend to leave their house less in the winter?
Hosting a pot luck with a group of friends is a fantastic hygge tradition that allows us to gather together over good food and great company. It takes the pressure off of having to host a perfect party, and is instead a low key gathering with everyone contributing to the fun.
Offer to host the first pot luck at your house, and then see if you can get a rotation going with friends every week or every month.
We love to plan our pot lucks for Monday nights, which gives everyone something to look forward to on one of the commonly more dreary days of the week.
Go sledding and drink hot cocoa
After the leaves fall, most people abandon the idea of spending time outside. However, there is nothing more refreshing and soul-satisfying than spending a day outdoors before coming in to warm up.
These were definitely the highlights of my childhood. I remember spending hours outside in the snow and then having to come in and hang my snow gear near the wood stove while Mom served us a cup of cocoa.
All of the fun things you did outside when you were a kid don’t have to be a distant memory.
- Go sledding
- Go hiking
- Go skating
- Go skiing/snowboarding
- Go snowshoeing
- Go dogsledding
- Have a winter bonfire
Bundle up. Get yourself (and your friends or kids) outdoors. Breathe the crisp air. Get your body moving. Feel alive. And come in for a cozy treat.
This is how memories are built in the winter.
Here’s the thing, you can be miserable during the entire winter season or you can get out there and make the most of it.
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Decorate with meaningful items
Embracing hygge means creating space for people and things that are meaningful.
Take some time to pare down your belongings to only those that bring you true joy. You will save space, time, and energy not dealing with things that serve no purpose and don’t make you any happier.
You can simplify your entire home and embrace minimalism fully, or you can simply choose to decorate only with items that hold meaning to you.
Home feels like home when the things within it bring us joy and memories.
You can hygge your home by getting rid of that which does not serve you and making room for little things that hold value in your heart.
Indulge in warm drinks
A steaming cup of coffee is a favorite for many people in the mornings, but there is no end to the tasty hot beverages you can indulge in on cold winter days.
- Hot cocoa
- Apple cider
- Golden milk
- Herbal teas
- Black tea
Taking the time to create a steaming hot cup of deliciousness in your favorite mug is the perfect way to wind down an evening, hygge style.
Have a bubble bath
A bubble bath is a miraculous way to soothe your brain and body while warming up on a cold winter’s night.
Blocking out time in your calendar to relax in the tub lets you roam through your thoughts, sit with your feelings, and dream big dreams.
My favorite tradition is having a bath every Sunday night, and then jumping into a clean bed with clean sheets an hour before bedtime to get an extra long sleep before Monday morning.
Whether you have a bath every Sunday night or not, indulging in the peace and quiet once in a while is pure bliss.
Reach for your comfiest clothing
Homemade knitted socks are my go to.
I absolutely love to put on a pair of cozy socks whether I’m cleaning the house, working on my laptop, or reading with the kids.
Cozy socks make my day.
It doesn’t matter what your plans are, a cozy sweater is always the right answer.
Set up a hyggekrog nook
As someone who loves creating beautiful spaces in her home, I was immediately drawn to a hyggekrog.
What on earth is a hyggekrog you might ask? It’s basically a cozy nook.
A Hyggekrog is a special spot in your home that you can go to instantly unwind and be surrounded by your absolute favorite things.
If hygge-fying your entire home is too much of a commitment, start with one small space.
I have a corner in my living room that is right beside the electric fireplace and faux stone wall, with a home made bookshelf housing all of my favorite reads, my comfiest papasan chair, a side table we made out of a tree from our property, a stack of my journals, my favorite pens, the biggest arm knit blanket I’ve ever seen, and a string of twinkle lights.
It is my little corner of heaven.
Having this cozy nook draws me to sit there for my morning routine, to meditate there when I’m feeling out of balance, to journal, to read, to dream, to snuggle the kids. It is my go to spot every morning and every evening when I need to unwind.
As soon as I sit there, a heavy sigh releases the pressure off my chest and I feel at ease.
That is the power of a hyggekrog nook.
So, do yourself the favor of creating one little space that you can go to just to sit and be content. Light some candles. Throw down a rug. And get your hygge on.
Embracing hygge has made winter a wonderland in our home.
Creating an atmosphere that sparks joy and invites togetherness has allowed us to embrace a slower season and recharge in a way that feels slow and beautiful and memorable.
If winter typically brings you the blues, try adopting a few of these hygge ideas so that you can learn to love the colder months by embracing warmth and connection.
Add hygge to your home. Add hygge to your calendar.
Light candles. Drink warm teas. Read books. Take baths. Put on your favorite socks. Cuddle up in some blankets. Throw a rug on the ground. Arm knit a blanket. Play a board game. Invite friends over. Get outside. Dim the lights. Start the fire.
Master the art of coziness.
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What is your favorite hygge tradition? Let me know in the comments below!