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Glædelig Jul

December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve has crept up on us and it’s a wonderful time of year when everyone, new and old embrace traditions and each other.  My holiday season has been spent baking delicious French Macarons and Kiflis for the special people in my life, watching Christmas classics with my family, and getting cozy by the fire while admiring the tree decorated with ornaments from my past, sipping on a cup of peppermint hot chocolate.

I remember this time last Christmas Eve I was graciously invited into the home of a lovely Danish family.  We all enjoyed a grand meal prepared by Marianne, and then danced along to Danish Christmas songs around the tree and throughout the apartment.  Real candles were hung on the tree and lit (naturally, I thought this was a fire hazard but it added to the ambiance nicely). Dressed in our best, we sat by candle light and exchanged gifts to one another.  It was an unforgettable night filled with great hygge.

“The Danish word Hygge (hu-gah) is a feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary everyday things simply extraordinary; whether it’s using real lights on a Christmas tree or breaking out the good wine when friends come over. It’s about owning things you only truly love or that inspire, being present in yourself and your life, putting effort into your home. It’s about being conscious and authentic from home to work to friends to celebrations and making all events {no matter how big or small, mundane or exciting} matter. Words like cosiness, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, fellowship, simpleness and living well are often used to describe the idea of Hygge.

Some refer to Hygge as the Art of Creating Intimacy (with yourself, friends and home). Technology and modern day busy-ness has removed Americans from themselves, their homes and ordinary tasks, making them feel as though these things are hard to do, have no importance or are too time-consuming. Danes, however, only like to do things that are fun, nourish the soul and are familiar so they find ways to incorporate that into their daily life.

Taking pride in what you have now and not just what you dream are part of Danish life and Hygge. Think of it as what Chic is to the French; a lifestyle that can explain a table top to a dinner party to a charming house or a personal way of being.”

-Alex Beauchamp { A brilliant blogger – check her out! Hygge House }

I am being a bit nostalgic about my wonderful experience last year… here is a small photo diary of my Christmas in Copenhagen.

Glædelig Jul alle!

Photos via The Pink Cigarette

x. J.Sjöstedt

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