warm & cozy

Here's The Perfect Hack If You're Missing The Cozy Glow Of Your Christmas Tree

We all need some comfort during these grey post-holiday winter months.

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This woman is going viral for her explanation of how she incorporates the Danish concept of hygge in...
@emmalinechilds / TikTok

The holidays are officially over, and now it’s time to take down the tree and head into those dreary, boring, and grey winter months when the sun sets at 4:30 PM, and we’re all depressed.

At least during Christmas, we all had the glittery glow of a gorgeous tree or lit garland around the house to make the cold and dark not seem so bad. Now that all our decor is down, and the house looks so bare, what else can we do to help keep that cozy vibe going?

Introducing: the Danish concept of hygge

What is hygge?

A woman on TikTok is going viral for her explanation of how she incorporates hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) into her home during these winter months to help restore a sense of solace and peace (even after all the fun holiday decorations come down).

Emmaline Childs responded to a comment on one of her previous videos, stating that they were delaying the takedown of their holiday decorations because they love how the chirsmtas lights look in her living room.

“A few people have actually commented this, and I felt exactly the same, but then I learned about hygge, and that was a huge game changer,” she began. “So a couple of years ago I really leaned into the hygge culture, and it was a game changer. Hygge is a Scandinavian practice of like embracing darkness and coziness.”

According to Denmark’s official website, the word hygge dates back to around 1800 and can be traced back to the Middle Ages, where a similar Old Norse word meant "protected from the outside world."

Hygge centers around cozy togetherness family or close friends typically at home. It usually involves sharing a meal and wine or beer, or hot chocolate and a bowl of candy if children are included.

“There is no agenda. You celebrate the small joys of life, or maybe discuss deeper topics. It is an opportunity to unwind and take things slow,” the site explains.

Childs goes on to explain in her viral video that one of the best ways to practice the art of hygge is to fill your home with warm low lighting, much like a Christmas tree or a fireplace. In Child’s case, she uses twinkle lights.

“I went all in. I've got twinkle lights everywhere, and when this tree goes down, this plant goes in its place. And yes, I leave the lights on it,” she explained while showing her house plant decked in twinkly lights.

She has twinkle lights on several other plants, behind her television, on her fireplace mantle, and on the back of her couch.

“I wasn't kidding when I said I really leaned into it, but truly, I am not kidding. It is a game changer when it comes to the sad, dark days of winter, and one of the biggest things is: don't use overhead lighting,” she added.

She says that any light that is overhead and super bright will kill your hygge vibe.

“So, I use my lamp sparingly in the winter. I often just have my twinkle lights on. It gives just enough light in my living room, and I spread them out to make sure that I'm balancing out the light throughout my home. I have them in my bedroom. I have them all over my house. Give it a try. I hope it makes a difference,” Childs concluded.

What are the fundamentals of hygge?

Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well, came up with ten principles of the “Hygge Manifesto:” Atmosphere, Presence, Pleasure, Equality, Gratitude, Harmony, Comfort, Truce, Togetherness, and Shelter.

The fundamentals behind hygge life all focus on feeling cozy, resting, being present with loved ones, and giving into the desires that make life good aka eat that piece of chocolate cake. There’s a reason that Danish people are some of the happiest people on the planet, y’know?

Several TikTok users commented on Childs’ video, agreeing that hygge life is the ultimate way to thrive these dark winter months.

“We only get 4 hrs of daylight and the sun doesn’t come above the tree line right now. I have twinkle lights and a wood stove and it’s SO cozy,” one user wrote who lives in the Yukon.

Another said, “As it starts to get dark, I turn on all the small lamps in all the rooms my house so there’s no dark areas and a brightens my mood”

“I've got fairy lights everywhere. still leave Xmas up til Feb. (I do the whole house, top bottom, walls, shelves, etc). I like the cheer,” another user noted.

How do you live hygge?

In a follow-up video, Childs’ recommended dimmable light switches or hue bulbs that you can control from your phone. The whole idea of hygge lighting is soft, warm vibes with most lighting at eye-level. No harsh overhead mess allowed!

“The idea again is that you're leaning into the coziness and comfort that winter can bring,” she explains before listing off more ways to incorporate hygge into your home.

“So, you want big pillows. You want blankets that are super soft. You want nice lighting, lighting that's like below our eye level, really dim. You want clothes that are comfy. You want good company. You want cozy warm drinks, good music, stuff like that,” she concludes. This kind of homey vibe sounds like a dream and doesn’t feel that daunting to achieve!

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