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Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
+ Robert Fulghum

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Winter Fun

A Very Hygge New Year

I think it’s safe to say that the Danish word hygge has firmly made its way into our collective consciousness. While the term is associated with coziness and evokes images of candles and woollen socks, I also think of it as another way to pay attention. To yourself, to your family and friends, and to the world around you. How’s everyone doing? Do you have enough to eat? Are you warm enough? Is there anything I can do to help? It’s the exact opposite of self-absorbed hedonism because to be truly content, you can’t just focus on yourself.

And so I was thrilled when I received not one, but two hygge-related presents for Christmas this year! Tim gave me The Hygge Game: Cozy Conversation in Pleasant Company. We read from the cards during Christmas brunch, dinner, New Year’s Eve, and at random times throughout the break. (The secret is to leave the game out on the table so people can pick up a card and toss a question out to whoever happens to be in the room.)

Here are some of the questions we got: “What’s the best party you’ve ever gone to?” “Name something that each person in this room is good at.” “If you were invisible, what is the first thing you would do?” “Did you try anything for the first time in the past year?”

One of the questions—”What are you looking forward to in the coming year?”—caught me off-guard. Lexie went first and most of her answers (centered around graduating and going to college) were things I’m not looking forward to at all. I mean, I’m excited for her, but, oh, my heart. So I decided to make a concerted effort to create some things to get excited about!

Which leads to my other gift, 100 Hygge Challenges (Piccadilly), from Lily. This book is filled with the kind of challenges I actually want to do, like “Have a cup of hot chocolate and read a book,” “Cook a dish you’ve never cooked before” (hello, creme brulee), “Listen to live music,” and “See what’s on TV.” Definitely my kind of list and I think it’ll provide a nice framework for 2019.

The first challenge I did was “Do a creative project.” I’ve always wanted to learn how to make 3D snowflakes, but I never got around to it. One day in December, I was volunteering at the high school and was asked to help make some snowflakes to decorate the counseling office. So I learned how to make them (super easy!), but it wasn’t until Lily gave me the book that I finally made one at home. Here’s a tutorial if it’s something you’d like to try.

So, how about you? Do you have thoughts on hygge?

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