Hosting an informal hygge party is a fun way to improve your dark mood and help ditch seasonal depression. Below are five simple tips for making your hygge party a relaxing evening with friends and family. Please note: This post contains affiliate links.
I look out the window and feel the weight in my chest as I sigh — another monochromatic gray winter day. I put on a forced smile as I walk into the kitchen, my attempt to deny my emotions failing. Despite my best efforts seasonal affect disorder symptoms keep popping up. My daughter immediately notices my heavy mood and asks, “You need a hug, Mom?”
I openly accept it.
After months of cold weather, I also openly accept ideas and suggestion for fun ways to beat the cold weather blues. In the Midwest, seasonal affect disorder (sometimes referred to as SAD) is a common thing. I’ve heard of youth depression showing up in your families and even have had a friend with a SAD teen. The lack of daylight coupled with unrelenting temps is challenging.
Enter hygge. For generations, Danes have celebrated hygge and found joy in everyday rituals to break up the cold, dark, sameness of the winter months. Brilliant.
Let’s pause for a moment — How do you pronounce hygge? This Danish word is pronounced HUE-GAH. Still not 100% sure how to say hygge? If you listen to Danes’ hygge pronunciation on YouTube, it tends to sound more like HOO-GAH. In the end, don’t fret too much, after all saying hygge is half the fun.
What does hygge mean? It is almost an undefinable feeling, so people struggle with putting words down. (And you’re not mistaken, it feels as if the hygge definition varies from source to source.) This hygge definition from Alex Beauchamp is the most accurate.
Hygge is a Danish word used to acknowledge a special feeling or moment. It can be with friends or family, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary but it is always cozy, charming or special.
Whether you’re dealing with seasonal depression, a bit of a family funk, or just excited about hosting a winter dinner party, a cozy hygge-inspired gathering is a wonderful way to spend an evening.
When hosting a hygge party, you invite guests to pause life and slow down — creating an opportunity for them to recognize that undefinable feeling of hygge. Together, you’ll discover (and celebrate!) the joy hidden within small moments.
This winter, invite your friends and family to a hygge party; plan a relaxing evening together with these easy tips.
5 Tips for Easily Planning a Hygge Party
Below are five simple planning tips for making your hygge party a memorable evening.
1. Hygge Lighting — Create a cozy atmosphere
Set up your home for a relaxing evening. Throw soft blankets. Turn off any glaring overhead lights, turn on dim lamps, and light candles — lots and lots of candles. Warm the room with a blazing fireplace — natural, gas or even on-screen will do just fine. You’ll be surprised by the heat and coziness a crackling birch fire on Netflix can emit.
2. Hygge Clothing — Proper attire matters
Let your guest know this hygge party is a relaxing night IN and they should dress for comfort. Tell them to think oversize sweaters, wool socks, and anything knitted. Soft sweatpants or fleece pajamas also get a green light of approval!
3. Hygge Hosting — Offer familiarity and charm
Create cozy vibes at your hygge party with familiar comfort foods, simple homemade sweets, and hot drinks. A charming hot cocoa & coffee bar is sure to be a hit — mini-marshmallows, caramel drizzle, and whip cream. The options are endless. Hygge encourages people to live a little and say yes to that extra slice of chocolate cake (or that shot of schnapps from the cocoa bar!).
4. Hygge Recipes — Create comfort
Hosting a hygge party is about slowing down and connecting with friends and loved ones. Consider serving a home cooked recipe like Single-Serving Chicken Pot Pies, where guests are involved with the prep work. Some refer to hygge as the “art of creating closeness.” Ironically, nothing makes a person feel more at home than being assigned kitchen chores.
Chopping Carrots + Good Conversation = Wonderful Evening
5. Hygge Moments — Inspire kinship
Give your hygge party guests the opportunity to hang out and connect. If you the evening needs a gentle kickstart, here are a few classic (and collaborative) games for bringing people together.
- Spoons — This classic card game is simple to learn, can be played with any number of people, and is guaranteed to make guests laugh.
- Wits & Wagers — This easy-to-learn party game works great with a family of four or a group of forty.
- Settlers of Catan — This popular strategy game wins award after award because it is social, dorky and fun all at the same time. If you add the extension pack, up to six guests can play.
- Pandemic — This is a unique, cooperative board game where a small group of four players problem solves as a team to save the world.
- Karaoke — The Nintendo Wii offers a variety of hilarious and fun karaoke compilations for lightening the mood.
- Taboo — This team word game often leads to nostalgic “Remember when?” conversations with friends and family.
Hygge is really just about being aware of a good moment.
There are so many unique ways to connect — good conversation over a cup of tea, snuggling to a favorite movie, a silent reading party for introverts — anything that creates a sense of ‘contentness’ is a win.
BONUS TIP — Hygge Gifts
Hygge is about making a conscious appreciation of everyday beauty.
Creating simple rituals, like drinking home-brewed tea from a china cup every evening or getting fresh flowers every week, allows us to look at winter life as an art form rather than something to escape. When we incorporate hygge into our daily life it becomes a natural extension rather than a forced and stressful event. — Inspired by Alex Beauchamp
Send your hygge party guests out into the world with a little sunshine. Fun parting hygge gifts might include — a unique mug with a handwritten invite for a coffee date, chocolate chip cookie mason jars, or all-natural soy candles.
With so many cold, dark, days, the simple act of a candle glowing with a cup of coffee or a home-cooked meal with friends can make a huge difference to one’s spirit. Share your questions or inspirational ideas for hosting a hygge party in the comments below.
P.S. Spread the hygge love…
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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