When I look back at my childhood Christmases, the one facial expression I remember most often is a smile. The smile on my brother’s face as he opened up that much-longed-for LP, the smile on my Nan’s voice as she opened up a cheap, tacky present carefully chosen and paid for by a grandchild, the smile on everybody’s face as we ate a carefully prepared Christmas dinner. Smiles are what makes Christmas a great photo opportunity, and the smiles of Christmas are often the most genuine we see all year. Joy can do that to a person.
But sometimes behind those smiles, there are sad stories. Broken hearts, lost opportunities, a disconnected family that find even Christmas together too much to handle. For anyone battling depression, a smile can be a sticking plaster, stuck on to mislead the world. “Look, I’m fine. I’m fine, really. I’m smiling.”
Hygge doesn’t require smiles, it definitely doesn’t require forced smiles. It requires safety and security. It requires us to ensure comfort for the people we share it with. Sometimes that really is best done when the mask drops and the people share their problems. Sometimes it’s best done in silence, with no more communication than a sigh or a nod. If you have a loved one who is battling with depression, read this useful advice on helping them. Ultimately, you can never force a smile from another person. Wear a smile yourself, and be there to listen when they need.
Please feel free to join in, either in the comments sections of each post or by hashtagging posts on Instagram or Twitter with #24wordsofchristmas and # your word that day. I love seeing different people take an idea and run with it, so if my list of words doesn’t apply to your Christmas, take them, change them and use the ones that do. Hygge is a very individual feeling, and no more so than at Christmas when personal memories, likes and dislikes and attitudes come to the fore.
I have a massive favour to ask….
I don’t monetise my blog. I don’t run adverts, take sponsorship for writing posts or use affiliate links. I want everything I do on this blog and in my hygge life outside to be truthful. If I promote a book it’s because I’ve read it and like it, if I point out an item it’s because it’s impressed me on its own merits and not because the publicist has talked me into it. It does mean I don’t run giveaways and I’m not chasing followers, but the drawback is that I need to find a way to support myself.
That’s why I write books. My thoughts are that if I ask you to buy a book not only does it support me, and let me keep writing as an independent writer, but you get something back for your bucks. I’ve written several books, some on hygge, some on Christmas. If you like what you read here, or in the Hygge Nook, and you’d like to support a struggling writer, would you please consider buying a book? Ebooks give you the best value, since for 2 or 3 pounds you get the content of the book, but I’d be a pretty poor writer if I didn’t appreciate the beauty of a real book in the hand. If you buy just one book, it all adds up in the end to support me, and I’d be so grateful.
I have three Christmas books,
Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version. It looks at keeping the Christmas season warm and cosy, with ideas for activities and routines to keep Christmas happy.
A (Hygge) Christmas Carol is my look at Dickens’ immortal classic and the many lessons we still learn from it today. It contains the full text of the book as well as hyggely thoughts on the story.
Enjoying a Self Care Christmas is only available in ebook version. It’s about keeping Christmas simple enough and healthy enough to keep you sane in the process.
My other books are hygge related, 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way was my first book, and is available in Paperback and Kindle version. It’s a simple look at ways to feel more hyggely in life and at home even though we’re not Danish and don’t have it in our DNA.
Happier is my fourth book. It’s about how I boost my own happiness levels. It’s full of hints, tips and ideas for you to use and adapt to suit your own situation. It is available in ebook and paperback version from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.
If you buy any of the books through the links on this page, I get a couple of extra pence per copy, in Amazon vouchers which go towards buying more books to review for the blog. I’d really love it if you’d support me monetarily, but I quite understand that cash is tight for many people, and I just love having your support via reading and commenting as well.