Imagine it. A cozy room glows yellow with pockets of warm light, a roaring fire burns in the grate, a cup of hot herbal tea sits upon the table awaiting your return. Happy, smiling faces sit looking up from the rug, ready to play a game of chance. Feel it? This is hygge.

Mid-winter, there’s much hype about hygge and for those of us who aren’t much into being trendy (me), all that hype is enough give it a cold shoulder. Resisting that temptation, I decided to look closer at hygge and see what it’s all about and give a few tips a try.

Having read and researched ‘Hygge’ thoroughly now, I really do like the whole idea of bringing nature in and having cozy time at home during the cold, dark months of winter.

We’ve made hot chocolate (here’s my favourite recipe), we’ve played games (SNAP! and Jenga are perfect for my 3&5 year olds), we always have an Ikea candle or few burning inside vases scattered about the house, we’re growing sprouts on the mantle, we get out the watercolours on Sunday mornings, we have a collection of sticks in a vase… Okay, so maybe I’m not a hygge expert yet, but I do think there’s something to spending a bit of slow time together at home to recharge for the good weather months ahead.

What to know more about hygge? Of the books we bought, here are our favourites:

Hygge by Meik Wiking

This little Hygge book is written by Meik Wiking at the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark and was a joy to read. It’s filled with lovely ideas and a thorough overview of what hygge’s about—I liked the book so much that I bought a few extra copies to share with favourite people at Christmas. A light read with beautiful drawings and illustrations, it's the sort of book I’d live in if I could, but perhaps not for the most intellectually-inclined.

Of the many hygge books and texts we read, this little book by Louisa Thomsen Brits was our favourite and kept us up for most of one night as we didn’t want to put it down. With all else going on in the world today, it was nice to have a lovely little handbook for how to bring a bit more happiness home. Fancy word pictures and lots of intellectual reasoning and justification? This is the hygge book for you.

After our hygge-reading fest, here are our top 5 tips for bringing hygge home:

  • Take a low-program approach: take time to just ‘be’ together without any plans or places to be
  • Bring the outdoors in: sticks, flowers, berries, leaves…whatever you can find…connecting with nature helps us to stay grounded and happy
  • Scatter pockets of light about the house: candles, lamps, overhead lamps on a dimmer…rather than bright, white light sources, go for warming, glowing patches of light
  • Surround yourself with happy moments: have a look about the house and trade out any photos and whatnots which make the people in your family feel sad or angsty. That photo from when the kids weren’t cooperating? Tuck it away. That awful tea towel Aunt Ruth bought you 5 Christmases ago? Love her, but take the towel out of the cupboard. Bring out the happy by getting rid of anything which is neither useful nor beautiful…focus on featuring photos and objects which help you to remember happy times
  • Have quiet family activities at the ready: puzzles, card or board games, art supplies, books, baking…that sort of thing. Fresh out of inspiration? Join Bumble Box…we’ll make sure you always have a worthwhile activity at the ready. 

Bumble Box monthly activity kits are designed to bring families together. Together, we catch animals' footprints in the sand, give the trees a shake to see what's living in there, host a Family Olympics, plant a fairy garden, race homemade boats in the stream...you get the drift.

Together, we'll make it through your family-time bucket list one month at a time.

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