If ever we could use extra doses of comfort and joy, this holiday season would be it. If you’re looking to create a cozy, warm atmosphere, all you need to do is add a little hygge. Here’s my best tips on how you can easily incorporate a little hygge into your holidays.

Cozy holidays

Small, cozy dinners lead to big time holiday happiness.

Hygge holidays

Being Canadian, we’re actually pretty well set up to for having hygge holidays. There’s a lot of different definitions for what hygge is, but it’s essentially the Scandinavian art of coziness. Yes, they’ve crafted coziness into an art form!

Hygge is about creating a warm atmosphere and being content. You don’t need a lot of money to do this. You would, ideally, be spending time with good friends and family you love.

Both Canada and the Nordic countries of Europe have longer winters with shorter days. More darkness means we’ve got to make more of an effort to bring in extra light. Applying some hygge principals accomplishes this.

Holiday Essential_Oils

Both scents and music can transform my mood instantly.

Where to start

Here’s a little writer’s secret of mine: The quickest way to find inspiration comes from flipping through magazines and catalogs. I love them all, and have files upon files of articles and pictures I’ve ripped out. Community Natural Foods just came out with their Seasonal Lookbook and I’m not ashamed to admit I’ll be knocking off several of their ideas this winter.

Warming up your home

You don’t have to splash out and shop for new decor to cozy up your home. But you do need to set the stage. Step one in creating a warm environment is lighting – or rather lack there of. Turn off harsh electric  lights. Use a dimmer switch if you’ve got one. Light lots of little candles and don’t be shy about putting up Christmas lights – even in unexpected places like the bedroom or your closet to give you a little boost on chilly mornings.

Keep lots of candles on your table to set the mood when you’re eating, paying bills and working from home. Little touches like this go a long way. Check to ensure you’re using cleaner candle options like soy or beeswax.

If you have one of those essential oil diffusers, now is the perfect time to have delicious scents wafting through your home. Nothing brings back the nostalgia of Christmas past than woodsy scents for me. On my snowy winter walk this past weekend, I gathered a bunch of evergreen boughs that had fallen on the trail and made a free, little stair swag.

DIY Essential Oils

I love collecting essential oils and making up different scent combos. Eucalyptus + mint is a recent fave.

Treating yourself

While the jury’s still out if we’ll be able to gather together with friends and family over the holiday season, we can still feel a sense of contentment with warm food and drink. Casseroles, soups, meat pies, all these are perfect hygge meals and freeze well in case small gatherings aren’t allowed.

If you want to get really cozy, nothing beats the scent and sense of anticipation from a bubbling pot of melted cheese. Fondue is the ultimate winter happiness meal. If you’re concerned about double dipping, you can easily portion out gooey chocolate or cheese fondues into individual ramekins.

This allows family members to customize as they like. For cheese fondues consider adding truffle oil, chilis or even a dash of maple syrup. For chocolate fondue, cinnamon, orange essence, mint or purred raspberries are fun additions to try. Trust me, kids love the add-ins!

Hygge Holidays

Plop that tray on the floor, in front of your Christmas tree for a festive night in. I recommend also dipping apples!

Pssst: L’Ancetre cheese (including their special fondue cheese) can be found at Calgary’s Community Natural Foods. A Quebec cheese company, L’Ancetre was one of the first organic cheese and butter producers in Canada. All their products are ethically sourced and environmentally friendly, too.

When it comes to drinks, think warm apple cider, organic hot chocolate or flavoured teas. (I love citrusy notes at this time of year.) Up the hygge component by heading outdoors to gaze at the stars with your mug of festive goodness and perhaps a fleecy blanket over your shoulders.

holiday hot chocolate packet

I pretty much love any and all flavoured hot chocolate mixes. This one’s coffee though…

Hygge gift ideas

If you’re in the mood to shop and need some hygge gift ideas or would like to up your own hygge game, here are some essentials:

  • Blankets – lots of them
  • Candles
  • Essential oil diffusers
  • Festive mugs
  • Thermos
  • Winter picnic blanket
  • Thick books
  • Bath salts, bubbles and thick body lotion
  • Board games
  • Good quality chocolate
  • Journal
  • A photo album – bonus points for the personal touch.

I’m sure you can find even more ideas in Community’s Seasonal Lookbook! (Available in store or click on the link to download.) I found a recipe for keto sugar cookies and there’s a great section on how to handle holiday stress. I was THRILLED to see that they’d listed Holy Basil (in the stress section) as I’ve recommended it to two friends recently.

Don’t forget, Community Natural Foods offers home delivery and curbside pick up.

handmade holiday soap

I just discovered that teen girls are also really into handmade soaps.

Save this post for future reference

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Christmas fondue

Dip, dunk and devour!


How to create a hygge box for friends (or yourself next year)

What the first bite of a gingerbread person says about your personality

How to look good Christmas morning

This post is presented in partnership with Community Natural Foods. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Travels with Baggage.