12 December, 2022
The true expression of hygge is joining with loved ones in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. Take a little indoor snug for a quick breath of fresh air.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, hygge represents a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. The Danes count this as a defining characteristic belying their national charm.
Here’s how to pronounce it, because I know you’re curious.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, it’s entirely possible to have a genuine hygge experience with an outdoors vibe. Here are a few ways you can get your hygge going with your coat on:
Pull up those garden chairs or drag a few beanbags outside on a clear night to see the night sky in all its majesty. A thermal beanie, insulated gloves, warm blanket and slippers will protect you from the worst of the crisp air, and a flask of hot chocolate or hot soup wouldn’t go amiss either.
Greenwich Observatory has a useful calendar of meteor showers visible from mainland UK and will shortly share dates for 2023.
Up the hygge factor with a pair of cashmere socks, for extra luxury and toasty toes.
Throughout December, it’s entirely acceptable to let your vocal chords loose on a few carols. On New Year’s Eve there’s call for a rendition of Auld Lang Syne and for those with Celtic roots, those Burns Night readings don’t recite themselves. There’s no specific reason to stay indoors so line your throat with a spiced drink, stack the firepit and sing your heart out.
A fire will warm your pipes and lift your festive spirits, but if you haven’t lit one in a while, it’d be smart to have a quick read of the most important dos and don’ts to prevent any accidents.
Extra hygge points for a snowy singalong.
A walk in the woods is a perennial treat but it’s arguably even more picturesque on a frosty morning. Just picture a lake emerging from a dawn mist or hearing the ice melt from frozen tree branches. Immerse yourself in your favourite woodland and see its beauty through fresh eyes.
Forestry England has a handy beginners’ guide and many established woodland destinations offer guided walks to get you started, including Leonardslee in West Sussex and plenty of National Trust venues countrywide.
Turn up the hygge and take along your favourite hot chocolate to stay warm inside and out.
Dining outdoors doesn’t have to strictly end as the evenings draw in. A hog dog or burger is a just as welcome in a pair of cold hands. Add hot toddies and marshmallows and you have a full meal!
Hygge it up with triple cherry gløgg, a Scandinavian warm tipple infused with cardamom and star anise.
Jenny-Anne Dexter is a full-time life enthusiast, who likes to say yes to the abstract, the sublime and the ridiculous. A bog snorkeller, trail runner, year-round dipper and sometime cage fighter, she's open to suggestions as to her next challenge...
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