How to achieve ‘hygge’ in the heat
Hygge - Pronounced “huegah”, can be translated in a plethora of English words, but the most common translation is that of “cosiness”.
So its origin is Danish and pretty much means enjoying the simple pleasures in life with family and friends. Let’s face it that’s what most of us endeavor to do over the Christmas period, so although it’s stinking hot here in Oz at Christmas there are still ways to Hygge it up and bring a little extra pleasure to your home environment this season.
Create inviting & pleasurable spaces...
A comfy little corner with an oversized arm chair and an extra plush cushion says “curl up and read a book” like nothing else. Enhance this by lighting one of your favourite Christmas time candles accompanied by a plate of yummy tropical fruits or a refreshing glass of bubbly or preferred beverage.
There’s usually one place in the house where everyone congregates…but the kitchen is not always the most convenient place to plop. Create an area in the house where friends and family can relax and converse surrounded by creature comforts like floor cushions, comfortable chairs, interesting books, magazines and conversation starters like the kids achievements throughout the year or a fabulous vase you bought at the local markets last week or a photo album of that unforgettable holiday to France.
Set up a little bar cart or tray with some iced water and limes, herbal tea selections with some quirky little tea pots and cups for your guests to choose from. Or why not break out the cocktail shaker and leave a little list of cocktail recipes for your friends and family to have a crack at. Have some tastey treats at the ready – shortbread in glass cookie jars, mince tarts and rum balls on cake stands. Fresh fruit displayed in that special fruit bowl you love.
Flowers & Candles never miss the mark when it comes to creating a pleasurable Hygge space. Why not go in search of native flowers this Christmas – they are bright in colour and long lasting so you can enjoy them for the Christmas duration. When it comes to candles there are no limits, some for the kitchen, the lounge, the dining table, the nook, the deck…pretty much wherever you can fit one :-) Be careful not to overdue the aromatic ones though or your pleasure palace will soon become a sickly concoction of smells. Stick to one or 2 long burning aromatic ones.
The dining table – just because it’s hot doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on table linen. There are some gorgeous cottons and light linens available here in Australia and it feels so much more pleasurable to sit down at a beautifully set table to enjoy the company of your loved ones over a meal. Bring out the best china and the crystal glasses you keep saving for that “special occasion”. Pull out grandmas old dinner plates and doilies that have been locked away in storage forever (unless of course they are in storage for a reason ;-)). Try to keep your colour palette complimentary if possible.
Add an arrangement of flowers to the mix, and it might be nice to introduce a sweetly wrapped little present with a bunch of cinnamon sticks at each setting.
The Quintessential Australian Pool Party can still have its own air of Hygge. Inflatables are a must for comfort in the pool as well as out! Why not try one of those inflatable bars to encourage conversation and togetherness. If you have a poolside gazebo or undercover area make it into a cosy retreat from the heat – scatter cushions on a daybed, or grab some weather proof beanbags to lush out on. Have some cotton sarongs or Turkish towels at the ready for instant comfort and sun protection. Keep up the fluids with an outdoor water dispenser chocked with ice and have seasonal fruits at the ready. Don’t scrimp on the Christmas decor just because it’s outside. Hang some lights, position some ornaments and candles. Have a selection of fun board games at the ready for some chill time and laughs.
Finally, Throw on your favourite Christmas mix of tunes, and ensure your family & friends have all they need at hand to make their day and yours as comfortable as possible.
Have a very Hygee Holiday!