For many years, winter and I were not friends.
I would get terrible winter blues and struggled with the cold. It made me cranky.
Our windy old Victorian was so architecturally interesting and so, so terribly drafty and miserable.
It was built in 1905, and remodeled many times. The last time, right before we bought it, some genius put the bathroom right by the back door, so all was OK unless anyone opened or closed the door at any point – then the bathroom became frigid for 4 hours and there was nothing you could do about it.
And a cold tush is enough to make anyone grumpy.
I was so Waldorfy then you guys – my kids wore woolen hats and long underwear all day … and I knew the cold and dark were getting to me every minute, but I always got through it until one day when the snow would thaw and I’d spot green again.
Eventually we moved, and I started to notice right away that first winter that I didn’t want to hit things anymore, and it was like the beginning of something.
And then around that time I started learning about hygge.
If you aren’t familiar with the idea of hygge, my favorite definition is from hyggehouse.com:
“The Danish word hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary everyday things simply extraordinary; whether it’s making coffee a verb by lingering over a cup, to a cosy evening in with friends to lighting a candle with every meal … Words like cosiness, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, fellowship, simpleness and living well are often used to describe the idea of Hygge.”
Sounds pretty good, right?
It sounds a lot like how I want our homeschool to feel, which is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I even wrote about it this week at Simple Homeschool.
Things are different now, friends. Sure – winter days are still hard some times, but I know what to do. We make cocoa and pull out library books and we turn on all the twinkle lights.
That reminds me – a few things that make me feel all hygge-ish:
- Baking bread. I’ve recently learned to use the dough function on our bread maker, and pretty much every day I make some time of warm, fresh bread.
- Rice pudding. My Swedish aunt used to make rice pudding and it makes me feel so cozy. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, snacks and right before bedtime. I’m mastering it in my Instant Pot.
- My tea collection. My tea collection is a little out of control. I love our happy little tea kettle, and my favorite varieties for winter at Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Vanilla, Republic of Tea Vanilla Almond (they have a decaf version too), and Republic of Tea’s Downton Abbey Christmas blend – happy-happy.
- Beeswax candles. No scent except melting beeswax. Bright. Warm.
- Battery lights – you can put these in any window, any little table, any little holder and you don’t have to worry about the cat lighting himself on fire.
- Twinkle lights everywhere.
- Warm socks.
- Cozy blankets.
- Good books.
- Two cats.
- My people.