image credit creatinghome.net
Winter is my least favourite season. By a mile. But this year I vowed to not bring my family down and to try to make peace with the dark, cold and medieval winterplace that is Toronto from November to April.
Hygge. It might be pronounced like "who-gyah" or "hoo-ga". Tempting though it may be, it's definitely not "higgy". Hygge is one of those words English mouths are just never going to get right, but no matter. That won't stop me from appropriating the idea, which is Danish, and means something like being cozy with a merry spirit. It's a tradition of creating a warm, inviting home and enjoying good times with people you love. Its meaning in Denmark is also deeply connected to simplicity. Candles are hygge. So are fires, thick socks and wool blankets. I deeply get this. This is how I will come to terms with winter.
image credit mnn.com
So I began lighting candles at 4:30 every day. Right around the time my kids come home from school. Tea lights in the window. A trio of tapers of the island. And lighting every little lantern and twinkly thing we have. It was transformative.
I encouraged evening baths rather than morning showers. Everyone got a fluffy robe and new pyjamas. Slippers appeared. And one more furry throw on the sofa. A charcoal linen runner on our normally bare walnut dining table. A sheepskin was layered over an armchair. A vase of fresh evergreens and winter berries. Adding texture, layers and natural elements felt good - hygge! - and looks lovely.
image credit thehauteticket.com
We invited people to dinner at our place rather than meet at a restaurant, so thoroughly was I enjoying our new coziness. The final challenge was to actually leave the house, willingly. I brought along my camera on a family hike around Hilton Falls (where the photo below was taken on New Year's Eve) and made my own kind of peace with winter this year.
image credit nicolemorellinteriors.com