A Very Hygge Holiday

It’s December twenty-first and I’m not even close to being done with Christmas shopping. I have yet to finalize a menu or wrap all the gifts. Christmas cards? Not happening...but I am happily sipping coffee by my beautiful Christmas tree, listening to Celtic Christmas music and enjoying the delicious scent of my ‘Incense & Embers’ candle, because: hygge. I read a few books this past year which taught me about the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced hoo-ga), The Year of Living Danishly and The Little Book of Hygge, and I am embracing this wonderful Scandinavian art of living.

Hygge can be described as a comfortable, cozy feeling or state of being, an atmosphere of warmth that we create in our lives. Christmas lights, the smell of gingerbread cookies and freshly cut cedar, sun glistening on new snow, warm woolen mittens, an intimate gathering of friends — all of these things create hygge for me. Candles? Major hygge. Simple pleasures and gratitude. The Danes are known as the happiest people in the world, and hygge is an integral part of their lives.

I have enjoyed exploring what the essence of hygge means in my own life, and how to embrace the heartwarming custom. As I sit here on this fourth day 'til Christmas, surrounded by the usual seasonal chaos, I am choosing to find all the qualities of hygge in my world. It’s almost like a meditation, and I'm savoring the contentedness. Wishing you a holiday filled with joy and hygge, surrounded by those you love.

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