Sunday, December 28, 2014

Hygge Time

Smokey Rose knows how to get cozy

(I am feeling ok now. Others are getting sick all over the place, but I am better. Just have a cough sometimes still)

Jul is over and none too soon. While there is certainly a lot to like about the holiday, it is usually too much for me in the end, and I don't even have kids or a big house, don't entertain, don't bake things (for Jul anyway), don't have seasonal music playing all the time, don't travel anymore to be with loved ones, don't do a lot of things one is supposed to do at this time of year.

Jul gift from my great family. I can't get a good picture with the lights on, so you will have to believe me that they are there.
This year I did a minimal amount of decorating. My family sent me a lovely wreath which I really appreciate. It has a string of LED lights in it that I have set to turn on & off automatically, and when I spray it with water, it smells nice.

My Jul tree beside my fireplace

I put up my little, modern Jul tree, genuinely made in Sweden which I think I will have with me forever now. I may even get the black and white one too so I can have a little forest. Those Swedes are such talented designers. Makes me proud to belong there.

Remember how this corner used to have autumn decor? Later it will have spring stuff, but not for awhile

I changed out the sofa pillows and blanket to the red and white ones, and put away the autumn leaves art, replacing it with winter things which I really love. The colored candles got changed into red, white and green ones, and I have been burning them a lot in the evenings.

Once Smokey Rose was secure, I would make efforts to save this little print from a fire. It was made by a cousin of my maternal grandpa in Sweden and is a family heirloom.

As usual there were all kinds of activities. I enjoyed every one of them at the time, but overall they added up. It was, in the end, too much for this introvert. Here's the list, as best I remember (not in order):

  • College holiday luncheon party
  • Faculty Club holiday dinner party
  • Botanic Gardens holiday volunteer party
  • Apartment building holiday party
  • Viewing the lights at Temple Square
  • Shopping downtown at night when all the lights and music were on
  • Shopping in the afternoon at the mall when all the lights and music were on
  • Attending the Pink Martini concert with the Utah Symphony (this was for sure my favorite!)
  • Attending the Lower Lights Christmas carol concert
  • Attending service at the Japanese Christian Church on the Sunday before Jul
  • Attending the Japanese Christian Church holiday party and children's play
  • Going out to the home of a friend of a friend for supper on Dec 25
  • Driving around the city on Dec 25 after the snow had subsided to check out the lights on people's homes, especially this one block called "Christmas Street" where every house is done up to the 9's (doesn't every city have a block like this?)
Now I just have to get through New Years Eve, but that will be OK because Kenshin Taiko is performing once again at the Salt Palace. I'll be the entertainment. We're practicing up a storm lately and sound pretty good right now.

Kenshin Taiko at the Eve celebration in 2014. I am in the back row, my usual place. I'm just fine about not being up front.
But I have about 3 weeks now until Sundance comes to town and then a couple of months after that with nothing on the schedule that I know of except work. It's time to hunker down.

The Danish word "hygge" is translated as "cozy" or "coziness." People in the know (i.e. Danish people), however, say this is not really accurate. In Denmark the term includes not just physical coziness, but some kind of concept of not being alone, being cozy or intimate with friends and family along with being warm and comfortable. I am interpreting the term in my own way to mean being warm and comfy at home along with intimacy with selected others. Smokey Rose is number one on that list followed by a few close friends every so often. 

So, the wreath will lose its needles and get thrown away. The Jul tree will need to go into its box for another year. But the winter pictures will stay on the wall, the pillows and blankets will get lots of good use, and the candles will burn many nights. The oven and crock pot will get plenty of use as I go back to cooking again. I will live in fleece and wool.  I'll go out every so often, not very much, probably mostly for knitting sessions with friends or to have coffee at nearby coffee shops just to get out a bit. I'm going to start knitting another sweater for myself on Jan 1, putting aside for awhile all the small projects I have been doing lately as gifts for others. I have a whole year to replenish that stock.

I forgot to add to the list all the knitting I have been doing to make gifts for people. These went to the baby who is due to make her appearance in January. Last I heard her name will be Ava.
On Jan 1 I am going to begin to turn this into a lovely, lacy sweater for myself using a very interesting pattern from Japan.
I'm looking forward to all this.

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