Winters where I live are gray, drab and temperatures vacillate between so cold my nose hairs freeze and I need to pull out my shorts weather. We get a fair amount of snow living in the Great Lakes region. Thankfully not as much as Buffalo or Erie, but we do get a lot of snow if the temperatures stay warm enough that the lake doesn’t freeze.

winter trees

Winter is not my favorite. I love being outside and other than walks with my dog, I do not get outside as much as I need in order to feel like a human being. In the summer I walk, read, work and generally spend most of my time outside. Doesn’t matter how hot it is, you will find me catching Vitamin D. As soon as the days get shorter and the sun begins to play more hide than seek with the clouds, my mood turns grumpy. I have tried to do a lot to help ease my Seasonal Affective Disorder so my family doesn’t run in fear every November. The Feel Bright Visor has been a life saver. Volunteering. Chai Tea Lattes. When I can afford it a weekend trip with my sister to sunny, warm shores. And lots and lots of books help me get through the hard season.

“Hygge happens when we commit to the pleasure of the present moment in its simplicity. 
It’s there in the things we do that give everyday life value and meaning, that comfort us, make us feel at home, rooted and generous.” 
― Louisa Thomsen BritsThe Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Well

But most of what I do is fight through the days and that gets exhausting after a while. Recently I discovered the Danish custom of Hygge. (pronounced hoo-ga) In this lifestyle, the Danes embrace the cold, dark season and settle in. They stay in more, they light a lot of fires in the fireplace, and they spend time reading, talking with others, playing games, and creating.

cozy fireplace

Being the librarian I am, I of course found as many books as I could on the Hygge lifestyle. These books aren’t just interesting reads, they are happy, beautiful lifestyle guides. I have included three that hit home for me and gave me lots of ideas to get through the winter months.

(All of these books and or items are available on Amazon. I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you click on a picture or link, it will take you to Amazon, where if you make a purchase I receive a portion of the sale.)

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living, 2017. Meik Wiking. CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, Copenhagen.

This book I listened to first on audio and then purchased. I suggest you listen to it as you take a walk outside or as you snuggle by the fire. There is a lot of information on happiness and how Danish culture is different. 

The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort, and Connection, 2017. Louisa Thomsen Brits. 

Beautiful black and white photos, thoughtful explanations of hygge, happiness and self care during the dark winter months. I loved the quotes the author included as much as the text itself.

Making Winter: A Hygge Inspired Guide to Surviving the Winter Months, 2017. Emma Mitchell.

Different than the other two recommendations, Mitchell’s book focuses on the creativity and nature of the season. My favorite part of the book is the recipe for cake in a mug for the grayest days. A beautifully photographed book with a lot of examples of how to inspire creativity in a frozen world. There are recipes, art, crochet patterns and more in this book.

Create Hygge in your House

I redid the window seat in our kitchen. I snuggle under a blanket with a book and a hot beverage and embrace the season.

hygge window seat

If you want to recreate this in your house I used these Pinterest ideas:

envelope pillow
Find on Pinterest here.
pinterest curtains
Curtains here
easy flannel blanket
Directions here.

Book List for a Hygge Season

(These books are available on Amazon of which I am an Affiliate member. If you click on a picture it will take you to Amazon where if you make a purchase I receive a portion of the sale.)

How do you embrace the winter months?

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