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Recipe For A Hygge Christmas Holiday Season

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Last Modified: November 21, 2023
Published: November 21, 2023

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It's Absolutely Delicious

cozy Christma cottage for Hygge

"We need to learn to enjoy the moment and cherish the little things. It is all about you being happy, content and at peace with oneself." ~ Sofie Pedersen

I will try again this year to have a Hygge Christmas holiday season because I never give up. Very few people slow down to savor Thanksgiving anymore, and I seem completely unable to carve out time to do it. Our natural tendency is to do something when change is needed, and it's much harder to do less and be patient.

But for the umpteenth year in a row, I aim to get me some hygge instead of the hassle. And I'm inviting you to try it! Hygge is a practice of living more deeply and slowing down. I have a very hard time with it. God gave me a busy brain that's hard to contain. Letting go is tough.

As we get to know each other, I want to share some food for thought from time to time. My ancestors are all from Scandinavia, Denmark, and Iceland, to be specific. I'm a first-generation American and well into Act 3 of my life.

I really dislike the tired and overused phrase "the holidays." The dictionary defines a holiday as "a day of festivity or recreation when no work is done." Really? Says who? 

We've made the holidays into weeks with a monstrous workload! What's more, all too often, it's code for a month-long binge of overeating, over-drinking, over-spending, and overwhelm. We end up feeling fat, sluggish, and remorseful. Yuck. Who needs it?

What The Heck Is Hygge

"Hygge is about giving your responsible, stressed-out achiever adult a break. Relax." ~ Meik Wiking

First, it's pronounced hoo’-ga and has been slowly creeping into our language and onto our radar. Why? Because it beats the heck out of the nutty hamster wheel we all spin on.

What is it? Winnie the Poo might tell us you don't spell it, you feel it. Hygge is Scandinavian and primarily Danish (like me!) Denmark has long been known as one of the happiest countries on the planet. And hygge is part of the recipe.

If you ask a Dane, they might shrug their shoulders and say it's about a cozy fire, candles, cake, coffee and chocolate, comforters, board games, and mulled wine shared with family and friends, stuff like that. Fuzzy definitions, and they are all different.

Danes are simple and have modest needs to enjoy life. It's more mental than anything. Hygge is a down-shift to a state of mind where nothing disturbs the self-induced state of serenity. Doesn't that sound delicious?

Hopping Off The Not So Merry Go Round

Hygge creates conviviality to balance out consumerism and Christmas materialism. We inevitably collide with them every year about this time. Hygge is a fantastic weapon that helps you extinguish the fiery arrows of "gotta, oughta, and should" that come flying at you this time of year.

I know how impossible it is to leap off the merry-go-round we live on when it's spinning at full speed. But hygge is not all or nothing! The best way to make any lasting change is to take a slow, intentional first step and then another.

A bit of time? Can you give it 10 minutes? Try to turn down the speed and volume, if even just a little. You'll experience more peace and joy; I can almost guarantee it!

Hygge Yourself Down To The Speed Of Serenity

I encourage you! Get yourself some hygge this year. Spend a little less money and a bit less time decorating, baking, and running. Spend a little more time thinking about what really matters. Gather your loved ones near you when you can.

If you find yourself alone, savor it; don't mourn it. A little solitude is a good thing. Cultivate a habit of taking a sacred pause to reflect on your life and where it's going. Please don't neglect this valuable practice; it will teach you much.

Please spend more time with a cup of cocoa in your hand and listen to some of your favorite Christmas music. Drag out an old quilt and watch a sappy Hallmark movie snuggled with someone you love. Stare into the fireplace and think about where you are right now.

Be thankful! Squint at the lights on the Christmas tree like you did when you were a kid; they'll reward you with tiny sparkling halos. Think back. Try to remember what it was like to be little and bursting with excitement!

And finally, please open your Bible and turn to the book of Luke. Read his tender account of the birth of Jesus our Savior. He is the reason we celebrate the season. And when things get crazy, stop and remember that! Savor the peace and beauty around you if you take the time to notice.

Please Join Me In Some Hygge

I hope you'll hygge along with me this month. I promise I'm doing my best to take my own advice! The whipped cream on my cocoa would be if you'd tell me about some of your happy hygge moments!

"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life." – Eckhart Tolle

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