Hygge during Christmas is just a given. Is there even a cozier time of year?? It’s my favorite time of year for many reasons, but this year I’ve been realizing how much it has to do with hygge for me.
One of the definitions of hygge is feeling safe and secure. It’s also about savoring simple pleasures and doing things with loved ones. Isn’t that also the definition of Christmas?
I will admit, traditions aren’t always my favorite things. But around Christmas, I cherish them. The simplest ones are my favorites. They give a feeling of security, of comfort, and this season definitely has a touch of magic in the air.
I reached out to my Instagram friends, brainstormed and searched around on Pinterest a little, and collected 17 hygge Christmas traditions that I want to share with you. You definitely don’t have to do all of these (or any of them), and of course not by the letter, in order to have a cozy Christmas. But maybe this will give you some new ideas, especially since a lot of us have to change some things up this year and may be spending more time at home with just family!
1 – Christmas lights road trip
I’ve read where some families will fill thermoses with hot chocolate and load up in the car to search for the best Christmas lights displays in their neighborhood or town. Throw in a little Christmas sing-along to the radio or your favorite playlist and you’re all set for an evening of Christmas cheer!
Growing up, we would celebrate Christmas with Daddy’s side of the family on Christmas Eve. Grandma Tero lived right outside of New Orleans, and after we left her house, Daddy would drive around the surrounding neighborhoods and we would enjoy the lights. Living out in the country as we do, we don’t get that many Christmas lights displays, so it was a treat! I still remember the Santa sleigh on the roof of one house, and then my favorite yard, where they always had a whole railroad set up in their front yard with a train that would chug around the tracks, blowing it’s whistle every so often.
2 – Cut your own Christmas tree
There’s nothing quite like traipsing through rows and rows of Christmas trees and picking out one that will look perfect in your home! And you can of course get one of the workers to cut down the tree for you with a chain saw, but it’s so much more fun (and hygge) to cut it down yourself with those little curved saws! (I don’t remember what they’re called at the moment… XD)
3 – Christmas karaoke
We actually haven’t done this yet, but my sisters have really been into karaoke this year, so we’re planning on a Christmas karaoke evening one night! You can find tons of karaoke videos on YouTube where they’ll light up the words as it’s time to sing them so you don’t get off track.
4 – Christmas movie night
Pull out all your favorites and take turns picking which one to watch next! Add lots of snacks and comfy blankets and turn off all the lights except the Christmas tree, fireplace, or Christmas village, and settle in for a cozy evening.
5 – Christmas sleepover
Go ahead and just turn that Christmas movie night into a sleepover. Bring in pillows and sleeping bags or air mattresses, and fall asleep to the twinkling lights and a Christmas movie.
6 – Go for a walk
Or a sled… or a slide… depending on where you live, if you have snow or ice or not, and what the weather is. ;P The snippy air will be invigorating, and you can enjoy seeing your neighbors’ Christmas decorations as you pass (since you’re not going however many miles an hour and keeping your eyes on the road as you would if you were driving…). Have some hot chocolate or apple cider keeping hot in a crockpot to warm you up when you get back!
One of my favorite winter memories is the year that it sleeted several inches. Everything was iced over, and we bundled up and literally slid down our little road, since it was too slippery to simply walk! A neighbor’s driveway sloped down perfectly, and we used it as a little hill and threw ourselves on the ground to slide down it. Mrs. Margaret saw us and called us in for some hot chocolate, and then when we got home we pulled each other around on garbage can lids (joys of country living…). XD
7 – Have a cookie decorating night
You can make gingerbread men or houses, or sugar cookies in every shape or size, or some other favorite Christmas cookies and treats. Make it a family project and hold friendly competitions, or put a movie or Christmas music on to make it a little more festive.
Every year when we decorate the Christmas tree, we make dozens of sugar cookies and big pots of hot chocolate and homemade eggnog. For some reason, the boys would never help roll and cut out the cookies, but they always jumped in to help decorate! Even now that siblings are married, some of them will come over for this special tradition.
8 – Go Christmas caroling
This year, make sure you do it safely, but be a blessing to the older people in your neighborhood or church family and go caroling! Both our church in Louisiana and our church here get together groups of young people to go caroling to the widows, widowers, shut-ins, and other older couples of our church and neighborhood. I’ve always loved it, despite a freezing nose! Just be sure to bundle up!
9 – Have a Christmas craft party
Make paper snowflakes, wreaths, homemade snow globes, or any other kind of craft you fancy! Make it a party and invite some friends over so you can all get some Christmas decor or Christmas gifts made.
10 – Have a pajama day
The sweet family I nanny for gave me the cutest Christmas plaid pajamas as an early Christmas present, and they are so comfy I just want to stay in them all day, curled up in my bed watching movies with the Christmas tree and one of my favorite candles lit!
You don’t have to have Christmas pajamas to enjoy a day like this, either. Just stay in your favorite pajamas all day, drink hot chocolate, and chill. Read some books or watch movies all day, or do Christmas crafts or wrap Christmas gifts.
11 – Take out a jigsaw puzzle
The past several years for Christmas, we have found a Christmas puzzle to put together over a week or two. We have a little table that we’ll set up behind the couch between the living room and dining room, and as we pass we’ll stop and find a piece to put in. It can be a bit of a distraction, I’ll admit, but we have so many cozy memories around that puzzle table!
12 – Have a cozy reading day
Can be done on the pajama day. 😉 Curl up with a Christmas book or your favorite childhood or cozy reads with a hot mug at hand.
And this doesn’t have to be a full day. Take a few minutes each evening and make it a special time where you wind down with a book before bed, or while the family’s gathered in the living room in the evening.
13 – Make a special Christmas meal
Many of you have special memories of eating Christmas breakfast or dinner at a grandparents’ house. I did eat Christmas dinner at Grandma and Grandpa’s for years, and I always loved that get-together. So many good memories of clustering on the floor, often with a young cousin in my lap, passing gifts along to the cousins in the back, and an uncle who was always appointed the gift passer. Then, after supper and gifts, we would run outside to play Capture the Flag or freeze tag in the dark.
But, if you happen to be in a place like our family is now, with changing seasons and traditions, then you can make the Christmas meal your special tradition. Whether it’s cinnamon rolls or pumpkin bread for breakfast or ham with all the sides for lunch (our favorite Christmas meals), take some time to make a meal together as a family, or invite friends over to enjoy it with you.
14 – Make a hot cocoa bar
My oldest sister Jessica has been doing this for us for the past several years as an early Christmas gift. She’ll set up a hot cocoa bar after Thanksgiving so we can enjoy it, usually until well after Christmas. 😉 Stock it with hot chocolate mix (store bought or homemade), some goodies for toppings or flavors, and some cute Christmas mugs. Everything you need for a cozy cup will all be in the same place.
The pictures of the hot cocoa bar in this post are from my big sister Jessica’s hot cocoa bar! Isn’t it just the cutest thing?? You can find the mugs and cozies and much of the other adorable decor for sale at her shop. At least go check it out as a thank you for her letting me use the pics! 😉
15 – read the Christmas story as a family
Another of my favorite memories is sitting around the living room after breakfast on Christmas morning, and Daddy gets his Bible and read the Christmas story. He always starts in Matthew 1 and finishes with Luke 2. After he reads the Christmas story, Amanda goes to the piano and we each pick a verse of a Christmas carol to sing. It’s just a special way to remember the true reason for the season.
16 – Go Christmas shopping as a family
We always pick names for Christmas and have one sibling that we get gifts for. We always try to keep who we picked a secret. And growing up, we always went shopping in groups. The “big kids shopping trip” (15 and older) took place separately from Mom and Daddy taking the younger ones shopping. Both of them were so fun! Part of the excitement was in hiding our gifts from all the siblings with blankets in the carts and checking out separately to be sure that no one could see what we were getting! At the same time, it was also so much fun to find something that you wanted and go around showing everyone, “Hey, if you need something for me, I’ll take this!” And sometimes you got it. We always had the “grinches” of the family who hated Christmas shopping, but the afternoon of eating out and hitting our favorite stores are some of my favorite memories!
Even if you don’t shop like this, it’s still fun to make a family outing from shopping. Or, if you’re doing online shopping, gather around the table or living room with the laptops and phones and do it together. There’s something so special about including others in fun things.
17 – Gift wrapping
Along with the Christmas shopping, wrapping presents as a group (big or small) is also fun. Last year, a sister and I put on a Christmas movie in our room and wrapped gifts together. Growing up, Mom would have a gift wrapping station set up in their room, and she would call us in one at a time to wrap our gifts. It was always fun pulling our gifts from their hiding places under grocery bags on Mom’s bed and trying not to peek at the siblings’ unwrapped gifts. 🙂 And if you don’t like gift wrapping, then invite me over and I’ll do it for you. ;P It’s one of my favorite activities of the season!
Well, I started out with 12 traditions and ended up with 17, because I kept remembering more to add! What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? What is your favorite part of the season?
Until next time,
Want to save this post for future reference? Choose a pic to save to your Pinterest boards!