The holidays are over, and there are still a few months of winter left, just without the holiday cheer and festive fun. Make the rest of winter enjoyable by channeling the spirit of hygge—a danish concept of coziness. Author and CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Meik Wiking writes in The Little Book of Hygge, that you know hygge when you feel it, but that some of the key ingredients are togetherness, relaxation, indulgence, presence, and comfort. Sound good? Here are five ways to do it like the Danes.
1. Light Some (Handmade) Candles
According to Wiking, 74 percent of Danes light candles at least once a week. Families can make their own candles to illuminate the dark winter nights at Mountain Lux Candles in Golden. All ages are welcome with a parent, but the hands-on activity is especially fun for kids age eight and older. Prices range from $17 to $40, but most candles are around $20.
2. Sip on Something Warm
Warm up in cold weather with a book and a comforting beverage at BookBar. The Tennyson Street bookstore offers three choices of hot chocolate for kids and hot drinks for parents, including seasonal lattes, along with books and a cozy reading space.
3. Make-Your-Own Bath Scrub
The scented bath scrub from Martha Stewart’s Favorite Crafts for Kids makes bath time even more relaxing. To make: mix six parts coarse sea salt, three parts Epsom salts, and one part baking soda; add a few drops of essential oils and stir. Store in a glass jar. Any essential oils can be used, but lavender and rosemary are relaxing favorites.
4. Play a Board Game
Get off the screens and get together as a family to play these engaging games. Try out Not Parent Approved (it is), a game modeled after the adult game Cards Against Humanity. In the game, a question is posed but the answers are G-rated, think booger and grandma. Parents and kids don’t have to be the next Da Vinci to play Telestrations, a telephone-like guessing game done through drawing. In fact, the worse the drawing is, the more fun the game is.
5. Get Cozy with a Tied-Blanket Craft
This no-sew blanket keeps the family warm, and it’s a cozy craft to do together on a cold evening.
To get started, purchase two pieces of fleece fabric, each 2-yards in length (this will make a large blanket). Lay the two pieces of fabric on top of each other, wrong sides together, and trim to the same size.
Cut a 4-inch square from each corner. Next, cut a slit (through both fabrics) 4 inches deep from the edge. Continue to do this every 2 inches, all along one side of the fabric to create strips.
Then, take one pair of strips (one from the top fabric and one from the bottom) and tie them together in a double knot. Take the next pair of strips and do the same.
Continue to cut and tie, one side at a time, until all four sides have been knotted together.