As the temperature dips and the nights get longer, achieving the perfect level of coziness can transform what might have been a long, dark winter into a cherished time of comfort and serenity.
The Danes have made getting cozy akin to an art form, so we can learn a few tricks from them. Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a Scandinavian piece of vocabulary that translates, essentially, to “a cozy feeling.” In Denmark and throughout Scandinavia, hygge encompasses a feeling of contentment and well-being achieved by learning how to appreciate the simple things in life.
Has the mercury dropped near you? Get cozy; feel content; add logs to the fireplace or make a warming meal. Here are a few easy ways we love to get our hygge on when it gets cool outside.
Take your inspiration from cave men and women. Add fire (safely, if you can, and probably outdoors!) It’s more than a cliché, folks: Having a fire is awesome. Whether it burns wood, natural gas, or propane, it adds a certain je ne sais quoi to your mulled cider or wine.
It’s sweater weather. Eat the culinary equivalents. Cassoulet brimming with fat sausages and beans. French onion soup laced with plenty of cheese. (In the right bowl, of course!) Stews. Soups. Any of these cozy numbers. A good rule of thumb? If you can wrap your hands around a bowl of it and feel satisfied, it’s what you want.
There must, of course, be hot chocolate. Devotees of the stuff have very specific opinions about what theirs requires, whether that’s whipped cream or marshmallows, melted chocolate as a base or our killer, professional-grade mix. Check out our Everything Hot Chocolate Guide here, and remember that cocoa sure goes nicely with its best bud, peppermint.
So you’re not a cocoa person: You have a lactose allergy, don’t like chocolate, or are more of a fruit person. OK. No worries. We have recipes for that. So many recipes: hot toddies (including a new N/A number!) and hot buttered rum; chai and cappuccino; tisanes and cider. A few favorites are right this way, or you could just search here.
You may be having a virtual party again this year. We know we’ve started incorporating Zoom hangs with loved ones for more inclusive events. If you’ve gotta have them, make them festive, friend, and take inspiration from this epic list. Do the “Secret Santa” and the cookie swap, the virtual games and the movie-watching. Just use modern technology to make them happen. Dole out the hugs later, as a belated holiday present everyone will benefit from in the new year.