Embracing the Light in Winter

My best friend in college married a Dane. I will never forget a chilly Winter visit to Copenhagen. She and her husband introduced us to the delight of “Hygge”. It is a word for which there is no English equivalent. You’ve heard that the Danes are the happiest people on earth. And yet they barely get six hours of daylight in the winter months. I can’t help but compare it to the many 50 shades of grey days we experience in Seattle. Today I unpacked some of my Valentine’s Day themed accessories and decided to get all Hygge. I am pretty sure this is not the correct use of this word but it works for me.
Hygge has been described as coziness. The peak of Hygge is surrounding oneself with warmth, a glow of candlelight, family, good friends and conversation or a good book to read ideally by firelight under a soft shawl.

Winter candle light makes sense day or night

Every morning my friend sets the breakfast table with candles. Even in daylight massive amounts of candles burn brightly through out her apartment. Here I try to create that feeling while I write, sipping steaming coffee in my Valentine’s themed mug.


I position my winter blooming coral geranium next to my yet-to-bloom Paper Whites, light numerous candles and voilĂ ! I’ve got Hygge!

The colorful handblown GlassyBaby candle company was created in Seattle. Their popularity here (every one of my friends owns at least one and it seems 80% of Seattle restaurants utilize them in their decor) is likely a result of our long winters.

Glassy Babies

Seattle does a great job of keeping downtown bright and beautiful year round. This is Fifth Avenue which I always prefer to any other street in the city.

photo: Joshua Lewis

Copenhagen knows how to put on the dog to brighten their winters so I’ll share this lovely photo of Tivoli Gardens in Winter. Tivoli has inspired me to keep my white twinkly lights glowing outside year round.

Tivoli at Night
Photo: cloudfront.net

Yearning to visit this happy city and my friends soon again and I expect that you are enticed as well. Happiness and Hygge in February! Be sure to let me know how you created Hygge in your home.

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