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A season of comfort and joy

Focus on what brings you and your loved ones together.

The holiday season is upon us, and that can mean a whole lot of extra stress. But it doesn’t have to. After the past couple of years, we’ve all had enough stress, haven’t we?

I’m adopting a theme for this Christmas: comfort and joy. If a gathering or a tradition or an expectation doesn’t bring me and my family comfort and joy, guess what? We aren’t doing it.

I make hand-drawn chalk signs for stress relief and a creative outlet, and I made a couple of the signs above to hang in my house and remind me of the theme.

Cultivating Comfort

We’re getting comfy for the holidays at my house. I love the Norwegian concept of koselig, which loosely translates as a feeling of warmth, togetherness, and intimacy. In practice, it means embracing the cold and darkness of winter and turning it into a chance to get cozy.

Think fuzzy blankets, fluffy pillows, furry slippers, twinkling candles, toasty fireplaces, relaxing music, warm drinks, and simple food. Just reading that makes you relax, doesn’t it?

The beautiful thing about having a koselig holiday and winter is that you don’t have to spend a single penny to do it. Pull those extra pillows and quilts out of the linen closet and put them where you can easily grab them from the couch. Light the candles on your table at every meal, even breakfast.

Make a couple of holiday playlists, including one that can blend into the background. 

Fill your slow cooker with wassail and bake traditional treats such as gingerbread men and fruitcake (recipes follow). Keep all the fixings for hot chocolate in a basket on your counter. 

Another part of embracing the koselig lifestyle is enjoying the outdoors, even when it’s cold. I like the saying, “There’s no bad weather, only bad clothes.” 

With the right gear, not only will winter chores be more tolerable, but winter recreation will be also. You’ll be more inclined to take a morning walk or pull the kids on the sled if your feet stay warm. That’s comfort that leads to joy!

Find Your Joy

What makes you experience true joy? What brings joy to your family members? If you don’t know, ask them!

For me, it’s just being in the same room with my husband and our three sons, especially now that two of them are in college in the next state. They’re home for holiday break, and having everyone together and hearing their laughter brings me so much happiness. I’m just going to soak it all in and make it a point to recognize those moments of joy.

This month’s family section looks a little different than usual. I’m including a couple of extra recipes and simple ideas for making the most of your holiday.

No matter how you celebrate, whether it’s a big gathering with extended family or an intimate day with a few loved ones, I wish you and yours good tidings of comfort and joy!

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