The lifestyle Danish word “hygge” is an interior decorating term referring to finding comfort, pleasure, and warmth in simple, soothing, things such as a cozy feeling of contentment through cherishing the little things. Why not apply this concept to your Christmas decorating?

Close your eyes.

Concentrate and visualize the cherished memories you have of your favorite Christmas. It might be current, last covid year, a lifetime ago, or a hoped-for future. Try to identify specifics in your visualization and seek to either replicate them or trigger memories through them in your Christmas decorating.

My senses conjure up childhood Christmases: baking aromas, the olive wood nativity scene always placed on top of the piano in the entryway, and a fresh needlepine Christmas tree decorated with a conglomeration of homemade paper chains, colorful lights, tinsel, and a hodge podge of decorations from all of our family’s travels as well as local dollar-store-type gaudy trinkets and homemade stuffed ornaments that we were allowed to manipulate as we pleased. The tree skirt was a hand-me-down quilt. Both mis-matched couches in the living room had grandmother’s crocheted afghans across their backs. Daddy had his own special “holey” afghan folded up at the end of the couch for his daily, 15 minute, after lunch, power naps.

How do I replicate /trigger these memories in our Christmas home decor today?

1. I bring out all the Scotland wool tartan blankets and have them on the backs of my couches.

2. In addition to that same, original olive wood nativity scene, I’ve collected over 25 nativities from all over the world and have them displayed on bookshelves, coffee tables, and other surfaces around the living area. I even have a rubber ducky set in the bathroom! Guests never fail to gleefully comment with a huge smile on their faces about this set after returning from washing their hands!

3. Our tree is decorated with ornaments the grandchildren have made through the years, gifts of angel ornaments from special friends in the past, themed personality ornaments that Tim and I have gifted each other through the years, and pretty glass store-bought ornaments as well. The tree skirt and star are quilted and adorned with buttons from my mom’s and grandmother’s button collections. I have a special wall-hanging tree that is deocrated with teddy bears. As toddlers, the grandchildren decorated this tree to their hearts’ content. It was indestructable and theirs! Nothing matches and everything goes together.

4. During the holidays, I always keep cookie dough to be baked at a moment’s notice in the freezer for impromptu, drop-in guests. I also freeze ahead mini loaves of pumpkin and banana bread.

I hope that my Christmas “hygge” decor evokes welcoming warmth, nostalgic family love, and soothing, cozy thoughts instead of looking like a Big Box Store exploded in our living room!

What do your Christmas decorations say about you?

What do we love about Christmas;

Does our delight reside in things?

Or are the feelings in our hearts

The real gift Christmas brings?

Joanna Fuchs

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