How To Have A Hygge Christmas?
Denmark is often described as one of the happiest countries in the world and some put this down to the concept of ‘Hygee’. A word which we don’t have a proper translation for in English but which Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, describes as “everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight.”
It’s roaring log fires, cosy knit blankets and steaming mugs of hot chocolate …what more could you want come winter? It’s a duvet day all wrapped up, staying cosy and warm inside whilst the rain and wind batters against the windows.
“Hygee is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and can allow ourselves to let our guard down…”
I absolutely love Christmas and, for me, Christmas time is all about the ultimate Hygee experience. It’s about cosy traditions, spending time with family and friends, love, warmth and all being together.
We went to Venice and then Belluno in the Dolomites a few Christmas’ ago (pictured), where it was bitterly cold and snowing and after an afternoon on the slopes we all piled in to the house, warming ourselves up with log fires and delicious Italian wines.
When we go back to my parents for Christmas, we go for a big walk on boxing day around Bleinheim Palace. We wrap up, pack rucksacks with hot coffee, brandy, chocolates, crisps, snacks and head off with neighbours, family friends, children and dogs in tow.
Come rain or snow, we always do the boxing day walk. Half way round we stop at ‘the tree,’ where we sip hot coffee and brandy to warm up. It’s the same tree we’ve stopped at every year since I was a child. After the walk, we all head back to my parents where we light a fire, drink mulled wine, eat cold meats from the previous day and play games.
I love going out for drinks around Christmas too – the tradition of going to a warm pub in Soho, decorated with tinsel and playing festive tunes, peeling off coats, hats and scarves and then getting ridiculously drunk with friends.
Now I have two daughters (one only 3 weeks old!), I’d like to start creating my own Hygee Christmas traditions. Last year we decorated the Christmas tree, watched Elf and drank Port.
Some people unwrap festive pyjamas on Christmas Eve which they all wear on Christmas Day, but there are so many ways to create those happy, cosy family moments.
What traditions do you have planned for this Christmas time? Would love to hear what everyone else is doing.
Emily @FashionBite xx