Hot off the press is the November issue of ETC magazine, featuring our very own Bex offering tips on how to bring a little touch of Scandinavia to the festive season! Hygge is all about comfort and a feeling of togetherness, so get out a board game, turn off the TV and settle down with some friends for an evening in.
To read the full article, click here, and find us on page 52 for some seasonal home ideas.
How to hygge up your Christmas!
1. Light a candle. Yes, we know it sounds cliched, but there is nothing like the warmth and friendly glow of a lit candle to add a little magic to a room. Turn the lights down to maximise the effect, as the lower the light, the greater the hygge. To get the best from your candle, when lighting it for the first time burn long enough for the wax to melt across the whole surface; this will prevent tunnelling, and extend the life of the candle. Keep the wick trimmed down to about 5mm as well as this should help an even burn and prevent any soot.
2. Decorate your home the Scandinavian way. Danish Christmas tree are very simply decorated in terms of colour; warm white lights only, and an emphasis on red and white decorations. Have a go at making Danish heart baskets to hang on the tree, and once you have mastered them, try the iconic flettede julestjerne, woven paper stars that can be hung on the tree or scattered over your Christmas table (we sell the kits with full instructions!).
3. Bring the outdoors in. If you are not feeling up to making your own ivy swags with which to swathe your mantelpiece, a few twigs in a clear glass vase draped in tiny fairy lights will look wonderful on the kitchen table. To make an easy Nordic candle wreath, place a large pillar candle on your favourite pretty plate then cut three or four 40cm long bendy twigs from the garden (willow is ideal, and if you bring it inside and let it warm up to room temperature you will find it easier to manipulate).
Bend the first piece into a rough loop and tuck the ends in, then repeat with the other twigs, always starting with the blunt ends pointing in the same direction. Trim off any untidy parts, then gently encourage into a circle shape. Now tuck some greenery from the garden into the spaces, finishing with a few bright berries to make a hyggelig rustic centrepiece.
4. Bake! It is rare to cross the threshold of my Danish family without having at least three kinds of home-made biscuit thrust upon you. Make a cup of tea, have Radio 4 burbling on in the background and knock up some spiced cinnamon cookies to fill your home with a fabulous festive scent.
5. Get out into the fresh air. Find a cold beach and have a winter picnic with a disposable barbecue and a packet of sausages from the petrol station. Everything tastes better outdoors, even if the meat content is questionable. Make sure you are well wrapped up, for as the Danes say … there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!