Christmas is the season of love and family and cosiness and friends and happiness and glitter and gingerbread. Perhaps the most important out of the two – for me at least – is cosiness and happiness – which is basically hygge in a simpler form. I mean, sure, family is pivotal, and so is gingerbread of course, but if you’re not happy within yourself – what’s the point?
Hygge – if you’re somehow unfamiliar with it – is basically the Danish secret to happiness. The centric idea behind it all is that by cultivating cosy, mindful moments within your life, you are guaranteed to be a happier person overall.
It sounds quite wishy-washy when I put it that way, but I can tell you first hand that it works.
Now, since the inception of the hygge phase in global culture, I will admit that some strains of it are quite consumer based. You know – buy all of the cosy throws, buy all of the beautiful candles, YOU MUST GET THIS CUSHION [*so hygge so hygge*] but it’s not really about that at all. Sure – a cosy throw will make you feel warm and snuggly on a rainy day, and candles are quite a pivotal part of the practice, but in a grander scheme its more about mental clarity and mindfulness. It’s about being aware of these cosy moments and how they make you feel – both physically and mentally – and being mindful and grateful of your ability to experience them.
So – in that sense of the word – hygge is spending time with your family around the dinner table, playing board games well into the night. It’s catching up with your girlfriends over a candlelit dinner, each of you bringing your signature dish while you talk about how much your lives have changed since high school. Hygge is curling up on the sofa during a quiet afternoon while reading a book and drinking a pot of herbal tea, and it’s taking a stroll on the beach before the rain hits.
It’s a celebration all of those moments we so often take for granted, and that’s why it’s so important during the Christmas season.
Christmas hygge may seem similar to rest-of-the-year hygge, but it can be achieved in vastly different ways. So – what is Christmas hygge?
Christmas hygge is taking an hour or two on Christmas eve to bake cookies with your grandmother, or help her wrap her presents, because when you look back those will be some of the most important hours of your life.
It’s calling a friend you haven’t seen in a while with a glass of wine in hand, just to catch up for ten minutes.
Christmas hygge is staying up until midnight on Christmas eve, because that’s when the true magic begins.
It’s taking a moment before tucking in to your Christmas lunch, to acknowledge those in the world who aren’t so fortunate.
It’s opening each gift with an awareness of the hours of thought and consideration that went into it.
Christmas hygge is decorating your tree with care while singing along to Michael Bublé, because December is the only time of year where your neighbours will allow it.
And, finally, it’s maintaining mindfulness and constant recognition thoughout, knowing that the universe is allowing you to experience these moments. Please remember that you could be in a totally different situation than you are right now – without gifts, clean water, or even a family. Cherish every second – I promise you’ll be even a marginally happier person once you realise how lucky you are.
Some of my favourite hyggelig moments of December so far have involved drinking tea in bed watching the rain pour outside, reading a scary book [I’m still working on this one] at midnight with Belle and Nala asleep beside me, fresh sheets, silk pyjamas on a Sunday evening, spending five minutes each morning deciding on a mug for the day [this one is my new fav], Harry Potter marathons, turning my kitchen into a cookie haven, hanging copper wire lights from every ledge and hand writing Christmas cards to my nearest and dearest.
I’d love to know your top Christmas hygge moments of December, so leave them in the comments below.
Merry Christmas ❤️