Ever since reading Meik Wiking’s The Little Book of Hygge, I’ve been craving wintertime.
If Copenhagen, one of the world’s coldest and darkest capitals, can also be the happiest, Scottish winter holds the same potential.
‘Hygge’ is Danish for refers to cosiness and wellbeing, but specifically, the feeling of being wrapped up in your favourite blanket with a cup of hot cocoa while it’s freezing and wet outside. We don’t quite have a word for that in English.
Last year I abandoned my birthday list in favour of seasonal lists of little things to enjoy about each time of year. Here’s what I’m enjoying this winter.
my little winter adventure list
1. Compile Xandra’s Christmas Mix CD Vol. 3
In December, I treated myself to an Apple Music subscription to curate my annual Christmas playlist. The rules: 20 tracks, no repeated artists, no repeated songs.
2. Drink vegan eggnog.
Eggnog is one of those tastes of childhood I still crave despite my current intolerance for dairy. One year I found a scrumptious vegan eggnog recipe, and I intend to recreate it, and note down the details for our recipe file.
3. Buy a bouquet with thistles.
A few years ago I identified that thistles are my favourite winter flower. [Scottish pride].
4. Celebrate Robinson-Burns night.
Burns Night is a Scottish celebration of the poet, served with haggis, neeps and tatties, and whisky. Robinson-Burns night is our household observance of this holiday.
5. Send valentines.
I found some Chamber of Secrets valentines that I intend to distribute, along with their inherent nostalgia. Why not?
6. Walk on crunchy snow.
The most lovely item on my autumn adventure list was the simplest: to ‘walk on crunchy leaves’. Noting down the anticipation of this particular sensation made it delightful every time I found a leaf to crunch. As a Bostonian I’m cynical about snow, and intend to reclaim its magic with Lorelei-worthy gusto.
7. Host a board games tournament.
Has anyone else seen My Boys? There’s an episode where they hosted a board games decathlon that inspired me to do the same. Now to decide which games to include!
Putting this list in perspective…
As I wrote this list, I reflected on last year. We were living in an AirBnB, about to move into our current home [with no furniture]. Last year I didn’t have space to enjoy these details of the winter season passing by. I was bogged down in moving boxes.
While we still feel new to this side of town, we have a better sense of the supermarkets, the back streets and best ways to get across the city. I appreciate having time to notice the details of winter, thanking last year’s self for her preparations.
More importantly than writing your own adventure list, take a moment to think: how is this January different from last year’s? How have you moved forward?
P.S. If you, like I, have been hit with the January flu, try my (free) Spell for Feeling Well, a prioritised plan for transitioning back to a typical routine.