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Embracing Winter (it works for the Danish)

The sun set today at 4:57 pm. We watched the fiery ball illuminate the bare branches of the birch and add a glow to the already golden tamarack trees.

We were out for a walk in the woods, bundled against the cold. We needed to breathe the fresh, crisp air if no other reason then to fully enjoy hot cocoa and popcorn when we made our way back indoors.

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The clouds part just enough to let the moon peek through. It’s huge, full and close. We see the first evening star as we come inside, shedding layers, lighting candles and beginning supper prep. Our pace is slow, helped by the fact that for this weekend home is an AirBnB in the wilds of Cape Breton but I like to think that this is the start of a winter rhythm.

The Danish call it hygge – slow, intentional embrace of the winter darkness and cold with light, coziness and seasonal activity.

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I’m going into this winter season with more intention and awareness then I have ever before. It can be such a hard season, and the last two years have been especially hard for me personally. But this year feels different. Winter is such a rich season, maybe not as blatantly glorious as Autumn or as long anticipated as Spring but rich in it’s own right and full of its own needed gifts of slowness and home.

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I loved our cozy weekend in Cape Breton and I appreciated a getaway in the middle of November, just before the grey really sets in and it’s just so gloomy. The kettle was always on for hot cocoa and tea, we had a slower pace to read books and to play games together, we went to bed early (because children and also exhaustion) and made the most of the daylight.

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Now that we’re home, I’m lighting the candles at 5 o clock and closing the curtains. I’ve pulled out all our afghans and keep the library basket stocked for cozy reading. We’ll be outside every chance we get, moving our bodies and soaking up the sunshine or at least the fresh air. We’ll bake cookies and linger a little longer in the mornings, I’ll pour a second and third cup of tea and remember that this is the slow season. The deliberate season to be at home. Our commitments outside the home are starting to dwindle, French is over for the semester and we’ll renew it in the Spring. I’m decluttering to make space for us to just be at home, embracing the mess that means and welcoming the slower pace of Winter.

Tell me about your winter ideals- what are your best ways to practice hygge and make the most of the Winter season?

P.S. For more about hygge check out, The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Rachel November 24, 2016, 1:13 pm

    Love the idea of the hygge! I’ve been making an effort to embrace winter these last few years, but didn’t have a name for it 🙂 The lack of light is my biggest winter challenge, so I’ve made a habit of sitting under my SAD lamp as many mornings as I can manage it and find reasons to stay in our sunniest rooms on clearer days. This year, I’m giving myself permission to take my coffee downstairs on cloudy days for a little Gilmore therapy. If it the sun isn’t shining, might as well switch out a podcast for a little Netflix while folding laundry 😉 Beyond our four walls, I’d like to take more walks – even if it means copious bundling – and take advantage of Edmonton’s new skate way, even if it’s only once or twice.
    So glad you had a chance to getaway to the wilds. It looks so cozy and relaxing!

    • thisvintagemoment November 24, 2016, 7:33 pm

      That new skate way looks AMAZING. Wow, so fun! And good for you for knowing yourself, I think that’s so key. Light and cozy and slow mornings sound wonderful. There’s nothing like a little Gilmore therapy. 😉

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