Cozy Up to a New Tradition
Fireplaces and flannel.
Cocoa and cuddles.
Blankets and bunny slippers.
What are your family’s favorite ways to get cozy?
With back-to-school behind us and the holidays ahead, we think October is the perfect time to pause that to-do list for some cozy family fun inspired by traditions around the globe.
Hygge Fire Stories
The world has recently warmed to the Danish idea of hygge (pronounced HOO-ga) and rightfully so. Who wouldn’t love a tradition that centers around feeling cozy and content?
In the spirit of hygge, put on your comfiest pj’s and snuggle up together in a pillow and blanket fort (stuffed animals welcome). Use the glow of a fireplace, lantern, string of holiday lights, or even a flashlight to create that cozy hygge campfire ambience. Then take turns remembering all the delightful details of your favorite family outings of the past and dream up your next big adventures.
Gezelligheid (pronounced geh-zay-lyg-hide) is a Dutch concept similar to hygge. It’s all about embracing cozy together time. And do you know what that made us think of? The warmth and togetherness of an afternoon spent baking cookies with loved ones.
As you laugh, talk, and taste test, the comforting smell of fresh cookies makes a mood-boosting backdrop. Why does the aroma of baking cookies make us feel so good? Because our sense of smell taps directly into the emotion and memory parts of our brains, turning that aroma into a little emotional time capsule of cozy cookie moments from the past.
After-Dinner Happy Hour
If you’ve ever sat around a table by candlelight after dinner sipping a warm drink, chatting, and listening to soft music, you’ve experienced the German concept of coziness called gemütlichkeit (pronounced geh-moot-lik-kite).
Surprise your kids after dinner one night. Say, “The dishes can wait,” and put on some peaceful music and light a few candles. Make something warm and cozy to drink, like hot cocoa or tea. There are plenty of kinds of yummy caffeine-free tea options for kids, from chamomile and ginger to rooibos and mint.
Stay awhile. Talk. Relax. Sip. Enjoy.
Movie Night Popcorn Bar
In Sweden, mys (pronounced mees) is the term for cozy togetherness. The Swedes enjoy it in different ways throughout the colder parts of the year, but it’s particularly popular for families to gather on chilly Friday nights to enjoy a movie and their favorite treats.
Add some mys to your movie night with an easy popcorn bar. Set out individual paper bags (bonus points for encouraging everyone to decorate their own), put out a giant bowl of popcorn, and offer an array of yummy sweet and salty toppings. Toppings could include chocolate chips, dried fruit, candies, nuts, pretzels, marshmallows, Goldfish crackers, or any other goodies you happen to have on hand.
Then invite everyone to fill their bag with popcorn and add the toppings of their choice. Who will use the fewest ingredients? Who will use the most? Hold a blind taste test and vote to decide which is the winning mix.
Don’t forget to tag #littlepassports when you share your cozy fun on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You could be spotlighted on our social media pages!