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After our recent visit to Scandinavia and seeing how well they cope with short winter days, I learned about Hygge, the art of staying cozy and happy and positive during the winter months.  This is a reprint of an earlier post, but to me, makes even more sense now!

Capture as much light and sun as possible in these 5 easy ways:

1) Grab a Sunny Spot – Pull your favorite chair up to a window or glass door.  Not only can this be your personal refuge for reading or enjoying the change in seasons, the chair captures warmth from what sun there is and makes you feel comforted and safe. Just 30 minutes a day sitting there will give your body the amount of vitamin C it needs to keep your mind alive.

2) Let the Sun Shine In – Open up the window treatments.  Many of us grew up with the concept that to keep the cold out, close blinds and drapes.  This is not only unnecessary but makes our rooms darker and dismal.  If you have double paned windows, you don’t have to worry about heat loss and the morning sun is the best for starting your day off right.  In the winter, take down valances and cornices to expose as much of the window as possible.

3) Winter White – Scandinavians knew the secret to surviving winter darkness.  Living without sun for months on end made them experts.  Their secret was effective use of color.  White painted furniture and white washed walls made any room bright and cheerful, no matter how black the night (or day!).  Use light colors; add white, cream or linen colored pillows and throws around the room.  Ban dark colors until spring.

4) Grow a Winter Garden – You may not be able to plant outdoors, but this is the time for flowers and plants inside.  Succulents in a long wooden bowl in the kitchen window do great and add the green you crave.  Bring home an orchid or bromeliad for the table and watch the smile it brings to your families face.

5) Ban Traditional Christmas Colors –  The holidays don’t always have to be red, green and gold.  Use fresh new colors like fuchsia, aquamarine and orange.  Arrange colored ornaments in a bowl on the kitchen counter.  Using silver keeps your decorating fresh through New Years Eve and stays modern and clean looking right through the season.

Add your personal suggestions below.  Love to hear from you!