LET’S HYGGE DECEMBER 2023
[definition of hygge]
a quality of cosiness and comfortable living that engenders a feeling
of contentment and well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
Add a little hygge to each month
I hope you are well and in good spirits. This year has been the busiest in the 23 years I have been working as a graphic designer in my own company. It has been a wonderful year filled with fun projects. I have loved working on each and everyone of them, but I am also very much looking forward to slowing down a little and preparing for Christmas. I have, in fact, already started my preparations. I have been folding a forest of paper Christmas trees and a sky full of paper stars. I have immensely enjoyed sitting quietly in the evenings and using my hands, while thinking back on the year that will soon come to a close…
This weekend, rain has been forecast so I plan to bake my Honey cakes and peppernuts and then, the Christmas tree is going up! There’s joy in having an artificial tree… you can enjoy it all through December without it losing a single pine needle. We have had our Christmas tree since we arrived in Australia… that is now 14 years ago!
In my e-book “let’s hygge CHRISTMAS”, I share with you things to cook, bake and create. Have a flick through the eBook below – I have also made a few videos to show you how I make the paper Christmas trees, easy papers stars, clay ornaments and how to create an instant scent of Christmas.
I wish you a lovely month of December filled with wonderful projects that make you smile. It may be either something to create, cook, read or watch!
Explore my Christmas book, ‘Let’s Hygge!’ It’s a compilation of recipes, handmade decorations, favorite flowers, and cherished Christmas traditions. Contained within, I share some heirloom Christmas recipes, traditions from my Danish upbringing, and some I’ve cultivated here in Australia. My hope is to infuse a little hygge into your Christmas.
Below is a selection of videos where I show you how to create the instant scent of Christmas, the Paper Christmas trees, simple stars and clay ornaments. I hope this will inspire you. All of these projects are also in my e-Book let’s hygge Christmas.
These Danish Honey cakes are delicious with a cup of tea. They have been made in my family for generations. When baked, they are very hard, so leave them out overnight on a baking tray covered with a clean tea towel. Here in Australia, I find that the humidity will make them soft. In Denmark or other colder places, we keep them in an airtight container with some pieces of rye bread to help soften them – this can often take a week!
DANISH HONEY CAKES
Makes about 46
¾ cup honey
1¼ cups firmly packed
3½ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1½ teaspoons ground cloves
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
1½ teaspoons ground fennel
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line 4 large baking trays with baking paper. Place honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and stir over a medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Cool for 10 minutes.
Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and fennel into a large bowl. Make a well in center of flour mixture, then pour in honey mixture and egg. Mix with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Using lightly floured hands, roll dough into walnut-sized balls. Place on prepared trays, allowing room for spreading. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool on trays.
To make icing, mix icing sugar and water in a bowl until smooth. Top each honey cake with a teaspoonful of icing. Set aside for 30 minutes to set.
If you need a little break from the busy-ness of December, I have a heartfelt recommendation for a wonderful film about the Swedish children’s author Astrid Lindgren, “Becoming Astrid”. I grew up with her books about Pippi Longstocking and Emil and so did my children. This is a fantastic film about Astrid’s upbringing and her amazing desire to become a journalist and later writer. The young actress Alba August plays Astrid with great compassion and sensibility. It’s a film about a unique and strong woman who had to go through so much to have the career she envisioned. If you are in Australia you can watch it on SBS for free. In Denmark it is on Viaplay
Here in Sydney it is summer and my lavender is in full bloom, which means it’s time to make my lavender wands.
Writing this little journal to you is one of the highlights from the past year. I give you my recipe on the easiest chocolate mousse : )
I’ve compiled my family traditions into a digital flip book “let’s hygge CHRISTMAS” for you to peruse and take inspiration from.