Christmas Entertaining – The Hygge Way

Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a Danish word that is a feeling or mood that comes taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day moments more meaningful, beautiful or special. Whether it’s making coffee a verb by creating a ritual of making it then lingering over a cup to a cosy evening in with friends to the simple act of lighting a candle with every meal. Hygge is being aware of a good moment whether it’s simple or special.

Some refer to hygge as an “art of creating intimacy” (either with yourself, friends and your home). While there’s no one English word to describe hygge, several can be used interchangeably to describe the idea of hygge such as cosiness, charm, happiness, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, kinship, and simpleness.

Technology and modern day business has removed so many of us from ourselves, our homes and ordinary tasks, making them feel as though these things are chores, have no meaning/importance or are too time-consuming so they’re skipped or not enjoyed. It’s stopped us from being authentic and conscious of how we live and interact. Hygge is about celebrating reality and being present and transforming the ordinary into a moment to recognise instead.

Danes are often cited as the happiest nation in the world and for good reason – they make enjoyment a priority and take the time to celebrate/acknowledge simple, wonderful moments (like meals, visiting, being active or even just sitting by the beach) that nourish the soul. They find ways to incorporate hygge into their daily life so it becomes a natural extension rather than a forced and stressful event. With so many cold, dark, days, the simple act of a candle glowing with a cup of coffee in the morning or an evening meal can make a huge difference to one’s spirit. It’s an act that’s also enjoyed – and perhaps that’s what hygge really is. Acknowledging the moment instead of drudging through it.

By creating simple rituals without effort {such as brewing real tea with a little china cup every evening to stopping at the flower shop every week} the Danes see both the domestic and personal life as an art form and not every drudgery to get away from. Hygge is about being present and recognizing (and enjoying) the moment.  Christmas is a time when Hygge should be easy and I want to show you ways to create comfortable cosy moments.

  1. Increase textures – This will make sure all your visitors at Christmas feel comfortable in your home if they have fluffy cushions and throws to cuddle up to.
  2. Simple things are Hygge – You don’t need to overhaul your interior to make it more hyggeligt, tiny additions to the home can transform any moment. Treating yourself and guests to a delicious coffee, indulge in new bubble bath for long dips by candlelight or finally putting your favourite photographs on the wall are all instant mood lifters whenever you use/see them, so take the time to enjoy them.  With guests too, give them a lovely comfortable bed to sleep in with fresh linens, their own mini products to use in the bathroom and a photo of you all together in the guest room.
  3. Don’t overdo – Make Christmas dinner a family time not a time to show off.  Go for a simple traditional menu rather than ten courses.  We have made an effort to make our dining room beautiful this year rather than a dumping ground.  We have bought a beautiful new table from Fishpools and twinned it with some happy colourful chairs  and I’m already excited about decorating the table in a beautiful combination of pastels and silvers – who needs red and gold all the time?

    Embrace the Hygge

    Embrace the Hygge

  4. Don’t rush – We wanted a place where people want to spend time and last a meal out rather than stuff their faces and get back to the TV so we made the dining room gorgeous, however what about the kitchen?  Lets face it, the kitchen can be a place to fill up a wine glass and then head upstairs but it doesn’t need to be.  I have a put some really comfortable bar stools in my kitchen that are never cold.  With Christmas lights on the window, minimal decorations and mulled wine on the stove (or cheat with mulled wine aromatherapy oils) people love to hang out there.  Obviously the wine fridge helps to!
    Kitchen Hygge

    Kitchen Hygge

    4.  Invest In Candles

    Rumoured as one of the largest consumers of candles in the world per capita, Denmark and other Scandinavian countries have embraced the power of the warming glow of candlelight. Whether scented or unscented, candlelight transforms the clean, fresh style of classic Scandinavian interiors into a flickering escape from winter’s chill and a simple lit candle is seen as one of the most fundamental hygge moments to achieve. Danish brand Skandinavisk have even developed a Hygge fragrance with notes of brewed tea, baked strawberry cake, rose petals and wild mint for the ultimate Hygge experience.  I favour Woodwick for their cracking cosiness and beautiful scents.

    Woodwick Candles

    Woodwick Candles

    5.  Update and embrace loungewear – So many people wear tight glittery dresses for Christmas when all you need is something to relax in.  Comfortable loungewear needn’t be an extravagance with nearly all types of clothing brands now offering varieties. From loose tops to harem trousers or onesies, the clothing options to get comfy in after a day at the office or over a weekend in are endless, with countless patterns to express your personality or classic colours for timeless style. Ranging from practical cotton to the softest of cashmere, loungewear can be as luxurious or relaxed as you personally desire making it an essential component of hygge.  Put it on your christmas list!

    If you need more help then order The Little Book of Hygge from Amazon – only £4.99 to sit in and read on those cosy winter evenings…Enjoy and here’s to a cosy Christmas.  There’s also follow up book for Christmas 2017 The Little Book of Lykke that shows how the Danes are the nations happiest people – also at £4.99.


A thirty something, fifties inspired traveller with a love of home comforts and pretty things. Lives in Norwich, plays in London.

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