Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish concept that refers to feelings of coziness, contentment, and togetherness, especially in the cold winter months. Invite your closest friends over to cook a simple meal together, and cuddle up on the couch to drink warm apple cider and swap stories. Hygge is found in the little things, so create a sense of well-being for yourself by lighting candles, indulging in sweets, and taking long walks in between downpours to appreciate the smell of rain — and maybe even jump in a puddle or two!
New Year’s Eve in Russia and Spain
Bring magic back into New Year’s Eve, and excitement back into your wishes, with some of these fun and creative traditions from around the world. Take a note from the Russians, who have a tradition of writing down wishes just before midnight, then burning them. A superstitious way to ensure a successful new year comes from Spain: Eat 12 grapes with each bell strike at midnight, and you’ll have luck for the whole year.
The shortest day of the year has a rich cultural history because it represents the moment when the sun begins to return and the days begin to lengthen. Try to take some time on Dec. 21 this year to connect with nature and each other. Go on an after-dark adventure, stargaze with an interactive sky map, or have a bonfire and invite your friends over to roast marshmallows.
Kwanzaa, a secular seven-day holiday that celebrates African-American cultural heritage, focuses on the coming together of family and friends. Engage in Kwanzaa with arts and crafts, like handprint kinaras or chocolate-covered pretzel sticks decorated with black, red, and green sprinkles. Making handmade cards is always fun, too.
Candle lighting is at the center of Hanukkah’s traditional celebration. Get creative this year, and buy a blank wooden dreidel to decorate as a family, letting each person take a turn in painting symbols or picking colors. For something more sentimental and personalized, make a family keepsake box, and have everyone write down something that lights up his world. Save these in the box, and open them during the following Hanukkah as a gift to the whole family.
Holiday Cheer by the Numbers
In 2017, the holiday retail sales in the U.S. were about $680.4 billion
Thanks to light displays, Americans will spend $199 – $573 on electricity during the holiday season.
Americans purchase about 318 million pounds of ham around the holidays.
Approximately 25-30 million real Christmas trees are bought every year.
$16 Billion is wasted every holiday season on unwanted gifts
top stat: statistica.com. other Data collected from the week.com; time.com; national christmas tree association; moneyish.com