I love winter. Brisk air, hoarfrost on bare trees, glittering snow, and the scent of pine make my heart sing. But I know that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the season.
I get it — I really do! As a kid growing up in Iowa, I could not imagine a more cruel punishment than the winter season. I longed for the balmy days of summer, full of fireflies and late sunsets, and perhaps you long for summer too.
How did I learn to embrace the magic of the winter season? By adding a touch (OK, maybe more than a touch) of cozy indulgences to my winter routine.
Embracing Winter Magic: A Guide To Hygge & All Things Cozy
It turns out that Danish actually has a word for this cozy feeling: “hygge.” So, here’s my guide to hygge that might make winter charming yet.
1. Curl Up With Snuggly, Soft Clothes: Luxe Loungewear
What better way to spend a chilly, long, dark winter night than curled up beside the fireplace with a good book? For maximum comfort, you’ll need an excellent loungewear outfit. Layer a luxurious cashmere hoodie and joggers, like Naadam’s Essential Cashmere Hoodie and Recycled Cashmere Joggers, with a robe that feels like a cloud. For a short robe, try the SKIMS Cozy Short Knit Robe, or if you prefer a full-length number, the Barefoot Dreams Ultra Lite Long Robe is, indeed, a dream.
Obviously, you need to keep your li’l toes warm, so invest in cashmere socks and an excellent pair of slippers. I don’t think the ultra-popular the ultra-popular UGG Scuffette slippers need any introduction. My favorite slippers, however, are North Face’s ThermoBall Traction Traction V Denali Mules, which can double as camp slippers if you’re the backpacking type.
If you’re still feeling a chill, a thick faux-fur blanket should do the trick. So snuggle up, buttercup.
2. Have The Best Night In Ever: Food + Drink
As you get ready for your best night in ever, you’ll need snacks. Give yourself a moment equal to the Queen of England with a high-end teatime. The Mariage Freres Earl Grey Imperial Tea and Fortnum & Mason Piccadilly Biscuit Set will do nicely.
If you’re in the mood for something sweet while you read, prepare MariBelle Aztec hot chocolate and plop a Favorite Day vanilla bean marshmallow on top. Plus, your tea or hot cocoa will stay hot until the end of each riveting chapter if you use your Ember Mug.
3. Treat Yourself To A Winter Spa Day: Self-Care Products
We all need a spa day, or even just a two-hour spa evening, sometimes. Draw yourself an indulgent bath using the Herbivore Calm bath salts. But before you hop in, drop a towel in your LiveFine Towel Warmer — a wholly unnecessary and incredibly lovely addition to your at-home spa routine. Use your Fur finger mitts to exfoliate arms and legs. Give some love to your face as well by gently applying a CosRX advanced snail mucin sheet mask while you soak — the steam will help the moisturizing ingredients penetrate your skin.
Put an episode of your favorite show on your tablet, light a candle, and pour yourself a glass of wine — all of these items fit on your Royal Craft bamboo bath tray. After you emerge feeling like a new woman, be sure to massage L’Occitane shea-butter hand cream on your digits; they can be especially dry in the winter season.
As you don all of your snuggly loungewear, spritz yourself with the ultimate clean-girl scent: Ellis Brooklyn’s Super Amber perfume. Or if you’d rather scent your home than your skin, diffuse a fresh scent like eucalyptus to banish the feeling that it’s already midnight, even though it’s only 5 p.m. You’re ready for anything, you relaxed goddess.
4: Bring The Outdoors Inside: Plants, Pots & More
OK, so you don’t want to go outside. No problem — bring the outdoors in! Spend an afternoon decking out a terrarium to put on your desk. Invest in a few houseplants to stash above the kitchen sink or liven up your coffee table. Cute planters like the Anthropologie Grecian Bust Pot count as decor, or if you prefer a more traditional look, go for the Terrain Ceramic Planter.
The AeroGarden Harvest Elite does double duty as decor and a source of herbs to keep your food tasting fresh all year round. The Sill Brass Mister and watering can make my plant-watering duties feel positively indulgent. All of your indoor greenery is guaranteed to make you feel cheerier until green appears outside your window again in the spring.
5. Actually…Get Outdoors: Warm Outerwear & Backyard Essentials
I lied. You have to go outside. Getting outdoors might be the most crucial step in enjoying winter. First, you must invest in outerwear and accessories that you love and will keep you warm. I have worn the Eddie Bauer Cirruslite down jacket so much that the original black color is starting to resemble a dark gray. It’s packable, not bulky, and will keep you nice + toasty.
I also recently invested in the Keen Greta Waterproof Hiking Boots and have no regrets. Cold feet in winter are a hard no for me. These boots are built for the dwellers of tiny mountain towns where the snow accumulates like nobody’s business. If you’re chilly and you also need a touch of luxury to motivate you to get out in the cold, indulge yourself by picking up Quince’s Mongolian cashmere wrap and ribbed beanie as a set.
Personally, I love to hike and snowshoe in the winter, but I know that’s too much of a cold-weather commitment for those among us who are not persuaded that winter rocks (yet). So, how about this: Just go out onto your porch or into your backyard.
Set up the Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 or build a bonfire (safety first: use your Snow Peak Fireside Gloves when moving logs, please). Fill up a Stanley Classic thermos bottle with hot cocoa and pass it around the campfire until you can’t stand being outdoors anymore. Spend some time sans electronics catching up with your loved ones. Gazing up at the stars in a clear sky and watching your breath puff into the night, you might just find yourself thinking: “Hey, this isn’t so bad. Maybe I like winter after all.”
Whether or not you fall in love with winter, I hope you stay cozy until the days lengthen and blossoms bud on dogwood trees. In the meantime, tell me: How do you hygge?