It’s a hard fact of life that sometimes time is the slipperiest of creatures and whole lengths of it escape through your fingers, meaning that what you thought was a week free from interruptions and full of space to write is actually a week of minor irritations, major preparations and a lot more little bits of work than you needed.
I will catch up with Christmas Hygge Through Christmas Hiraeth, I promise. I knew it was too good when I managed a Saturday post.
But today I’m digressing. It’s perched just above freezing here in Liverpool, there has been hail and is likely to be sleet and the whole weekend looks set to be one worthy of hunkering in and being cozy.
I love homemaking weekends. I can get some jobs done around free from feeling obliged to break off and go anywhere. And, although I have my usual housekeeping jobs to do (yes, cleaning and washing, I’m looking at you) I think this weekend will be a perfect one to spend some time cosying up the house as well.
My house starts off quite cosy anyway. I always have a decent pile of blankets available, and now they’re piled up on the wicker basket in the corner they even look cosy when they’re not in use. With an occasional spritz of room freshener, they call out for being cuddled and used.
My candles are on full display as well. Earlier this year I invested in two small tea light holders for the dining room table, and they make it easier to have breakfast, lunch or dinner by candlelight. I’ve also got tea lights in holders lining my mantelpiece and scented candles on trays around the room. I love the names that companies give scented candles and do choose candle by name as much as scent, so my current favourites are Old Bookshop and Fireside, a candle which has the advantage of a crackling wick so it even adds sound effects to the room as it burns!
I’m rather frugal with my scented candles: I don’t like to burn them too often, and yet I want a softly scented room. I don’t like the harsh scents of most room fresheners, but I have found that the scent in an aromatherapy diffuser can be much softer and lets me mix and match by mood. Currently, I am loving Walk in the Woods, with its blend of pine, sandalwood and cypress during daylight hours and Autumn Air, with clove, orange, cinnamon and lemon during the evening. It makes me feel so Christmassed. Just 10 to 15 drops mixed with 75ml water and a tablespoon of vodka makes an excellent room spray when kept in a spray bottle.
And cosy evenings call for cosy drinks as well. I’m absolutely a chai fan, with Tesco’s Own Brand being my favourite, but I am also loving the Christmas Teas available at the moment. I keep my Christmas blends in an elephant tea caddy, but I’m topping it up with Marks and Spencer’s Christmas Tea as and when I need to. This weekend I’m going to tidy up the drinks corner in the kitchen and put my milk frother, cocoa and cinnamon powders stored in my favourite nisse salt and pepper shakers, and some assorted Hot chocolate powders and toppings in small jars…. marshmallows, sprinkles, hundreds and thousands all make excellent toppings on whipped cream.
I was too late this year to plant bulbs to force for Christmas, but I’ll look out in the shops and markets for a basket of hyacinths ready to bloom as Christmas approaches, and of course an amaryllis bulb is fascinating to plant, watch and enjoy. I like getting one for Christmas and planting it to take me through the winter days.
My hats, scarves and gloves come out at this time of year as well. I’ve stored them in a plain wicker basket by the front door, but I might just add a red festive bow as a touch of whimsey. I’ve added reuseable hand warmers to the basket as well, but my brain is wondering whether to ask Santa for a set of the rechargeable ones for walking and football days!
Cosy blankets, candles, warm hands, ready to go outside… is there anything I’ve forgotten? Oh… yes…. books. My reading during December is heavily Christmas focused, but there is an occasional gothic or ghost story in there, too.
Hideaway in Iceland by Victoria Walker
The Ghost Woods by C J Cooke
Once Upon a Winter by Tilly Tennant
The Cosy Travelling Christmas Shop by Lilac Mills
Hare House by Sally Hinchcliffe
The Cinnamon Snail by Rosemary Whittaker
Enough cosying for the day! It’s 3 o’clock, almost dark already and I am escaping. Have a good weekend! What will you be doing to cosy up your home this weekend?
How to Hygge the British Way is my gift to the world. I don’t get paid for writing it, I’m not in it for the kudos, financial rewards, to become an influencer, work with brands or otherwise make any money from the blog. That’s why there are no ads, and any products I mention and recommend have either been gifted to me or bought by me with my everyday wages or donations from supporters. Every book I review has been bought and read by me, unless stated otherwise.
I do get a couple of pennies each time someone buys from the Amazon links on my page, as an Amazon Affiliate, but otherwise if you’d like to support me, I like to give something back in return. That’s why I write books. It always feels good if you get a book back in return for some money. You can find a full list of my books at my Author’s Page on Amazon, but especially recommended for this time of year are:
Cosy Happy Hygge: Setting up a rhythm to life and rituals to enjoy it to make for a more balanced life that handles waves and storms better. Lent is a season of rituals and resets. The book has small and easy ways to make your life flow with grace and happiness, which lead to more hygge.
Happier: Probably my most personal book, it’s the story of how I used hygge and the little things in life to help boost my happiness. I still go back and reread to remind myself what I need to do to be a happy human. And it’s always the little things.
And my Christmas books are all available now:
Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas is the basic, all round Christmas hygge book, with advice and ideas on how to make hygge (the cosiest way to be mindful and live in the moment) a large part of all your celebrations.
Enjoying a Self-Care Christmas is about taking time to look after yourself at the busiest season of all and is only available in ebook, with its own advent calendar of selfcare ideas.
Celebrating a Contagious Christmas was my answer to Christmas in Lockdowns in 2020 but might (sadly) prove useful for a few more years to come. It has advice on celebrating small scale, and keeping a Christmas flexible. I’m itching to write a new Christmas book, on simplicity, frugality, minimalism and making the meaning of your Christmas more significant, but time, time, time…
If you’d like to support me, but don’t want to buy a book, I have a Paypal.Me account as Hygge Jem. Every little helps, so even a few pence goes towards the books, goods and courses I use and recommend on the site. I’m grateful for every little bit that brings me closer to my dream of full-time writing, and I know I couldn’t still be writing if it weren’t for the support of many readers and friends out there. Thank you all for every little bit of support, emotional, physical and financial, you give me.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it or save it so others can enjoy reading, thinking about and living hygge as well.
The photo between post and promotions is by Annie Spratt on Unsplash . I love the little car against a grey background. One of my plans for a Christmas table is based on a car like this, driving home for Christmas…… And the header is a photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash. I like the cosy colours, and the candle, of course.