It's rather appropriate that the first post of the new year is on how to survive winter, right? January can be such a dark and depressing month, especially after all the brightness from the holidays winds down. Hygge is a Norwegian word that is multifaceted, but simply is defined as coziness, comfort, happiness, simpleness, and compainship. It developed because the Danes were trying to endure the long, dreary, winter days. (Yes, it's a Norwegian word, adapted and promoted by the Danes.) Hygge was a way for the Danes to break up the days with small rituals and routines and in essence, give them something simple but enjoyable to look forward to.
The warm glow of candlelight and a filling meal are both examples of Hygge. Some of my favourite recipes this time of year are soups like chili and chicken and dumplings. Also, carb heavy food like Mac and Cheese, chicken pot pie, and risotto. Food that is both comforting and staunchly filling. Add some crusty bread and cheese in as well, because lets face it, winter is cold and those extra carbs are really necessary. ;) (Yeah, I love veggies too, but right now, only if they're enveloped in a thick layer of cheese. Healthy recipes will be coming up closer to summer, maybe.)
Hygge is also textures. Wool, fleece, knitted socks, exposed wood, sheepskins... the list goes on. Items that are cozy and perfect for using when the wind is blowing outside and all you want is something warm and cozy to cuddle up in. Most importantly though, Hygge is community. The Danes recognised that the dark winter wasn't meant to be spent alone, but rather with friends and family. So don't all go out, but rather organise a simple, tasty meal at home with friends, sit on the floor afterwards on warm rugs and blankets and play games (dominos is one of our favourites), and enjoy the cozy feeling of Hygge.