If Black Friday and Cyber Monday weren’t able to help you find a gift that you know would make someone happy, we have some advice.
Research from Cornell University indicates that we, as humans, enjoy longer-lasting happiness from experiences than we do from physical objects. On top of that, we also know that Scandinavian countries also regularly rank at the top of the world’s happiest.
While there is much research to be done on what exactly it is that makes Scandinavians so happy, we can’t help but think of some Scandinavian traditions that might have something to do with it.
They’re pretty easy to give as gifts, too. Here they are for you to think about:
Hygge (pronounced like a mix of “hue-gah” and “hoo-gah”) is a Danish concept that doesn’t really have a direct English translation. It’s the essence of making yourself feel cozy and fully present in the moment. Think about making yourself a cup of tea, grabbing your favorite blanket, lighting a few candles and cuddling up with a good book for the night. You can do it by yourself or with others.
Hygge is a great gift to give someone who might benefit from pressing the pause button on life and connecting either with themselves or those around them.
So how can you give hygge a gift? Think about including a few of these items as a hygge starter-pack:
Warm and fuzzy socks
Ultimately, give some thought to what they might need to simply be cozy and feel in the moment.
Who knows? Hygge may become a beneficial habit for them, and that’s among the greatest gifts you could give someone.
In Sweden, fika is a daily (or sometimes twice daily) tradition of taking a break to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a small treat. It’s also used as both a noun and verb. One can fika either alone or with a group, too.
Fika is a thoughtful gift you can give someone or it’s something you can also do for a group of friends or family. Making a practice out of it could also help strengthen relationships with others, too.
When you give it, here are some things you can include:
A serving tray
Cheese and crackers (or knäckebröd if you want to feel like you’re in Sweden)
Pastries (or a gift card to their favorite pastry shop)
Fredagsmys (“fray-das-mees”) is a more recent Swedish tradition of gathering with friends or family on Friday evening after a busy week to relax, eat good food and play games or watch a movie. Fredagsmys literally translates to “Friday cozy” in English.
The key here is that is easy. Think less of preparing a five-course meal and think more of ordering a pizza, making appetizers in the oven and drinking wine with some snacks. Less preparing and cleaning, more relaxing and laughing.
This gift is perfect for your family or a group of close friends who struggle to find time together in the midst of their busy lives. When you introduce the gift, maybe say something like, “Since life can get in the way, I want to treat us to time together with good food and wine.”
How can you present Fredagsmys as a gift? Think along the lines of a gift basket. Here are some items to consider:
A gift card to a local pizza delivery place
A box of wine
Compostable plates, utensils and napkins
Snacks or candy
DVDs or a streaming gift card
The bottom line? More often than not, it feels like some of the best gifts we can give are those that create a positive feeling that lasts longer than it takes to simply open a box.
If the gift you really want to give is to make someone happy, then we hope these ideas will give you a solid place to start.