time to hygge

I can hardly believe that this was my last weekend here in Copenhagen.  Even though I’ll be staying in Europe until the 14th, I have plans to travel to Vienna next weekend, so this was the final Saturday and Sunday I’ll be spending in my cozy Danish apartment.  Most of this free time was spent writing papers and studying (yay, it’s officially finals season), but I was able to set aside some time to hygge with my host family.

Sidenote: even though hygge loosely translates to “cozy,” it means oh so much more. It’s an adjective, a verb, a noun, an exclamation.

On Saturday afternoon, my host mom invited us to hygge with her family.  In this case, hygge meant sharing a meal, decorating for the Christmas season, enjoying delicious Danish treats such as æblesvier and Scandinavian pancakes, and then watching a Christmas movie together.

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my DIY Christmas candle

In Gitte’s family, it’s a tradition to make these advent decorations every Christmas.  Each of us were given a candle, and, after setting the candle in a clay base, we were responsible for creating a wreath-like decoration for the base. We cut up the branches of pine and arranged the branches with other festive garnishes. The tiny mushroom on my wreath is my personal favorite.

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Sarah’s candle

My host mom was excited to keep our decorations–two small reminders of me and Sarah–and enjoy them throughout the Christmas season, even after we return home. This family time was the perfect relief from all my schoolwork, and I’m so glad I was able to spend this last Saturday together with my host family.  I truly can’t imagine what my semester in Denmark would have been like without my host mom Gitte–she has been such an integral part of my experience.  I know I’m going to miss her (and her home cooked meals) so much when I go back to college!

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