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Let's Get “Gezellig”: How The Dutch Get Cozy

"Gezellig" isn’t just one thing, it’s a Dutch catch-all word for a state of cosiness and togetherness.

Allie Kokesh · 9 months ago

  • travel

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M_a_y_a / Getty Images

M_a_y_a / Getty Images

Don’t get too hung up on the definition, because "gezellig" isn’t just one thing, it’s a Dutch catch-all word for a state of cosiness and togetherness. But with dropping temperatures and rainy days, it’s definitely a word worth learning. There will be days when you’ll need to gear up and meet the bad weather head on, but some days are just better spent indoors.

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Heeral Chhibber / CAMP

Before you can get comfortable, you’ll have to do a bit of work. Task each family member with bringing one item into the living room that will help them snuggle down — pillows, blankets, plush companions, picture books — whatever works! Go around the family and share why this particular thing brings you comfort.

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@netflix on Giphy

To set the mood, you’ll want to launch Netflix and put on “Fireplace For Your Home: Birchwood Edition.” (There are a handful of log-burning screensavers to choose from, but this particular one skips the generic music in favor of the natural pop and crackle.)

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While your home won’t smell like a wood-burning stove, you can brew a pot of Yogi Tea’s Choco Organic to create a sweet sensory experience. An added bonus to the chocolate aroma is that the delicious, mild cocoa flavor comes with none of the sugar crash. A hack for smaller hands: Tea is still tea when it’s in a sippy cup.

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Heeral Chhibber / CAMP

Skip the stress of meal prep and instead, lay lunch out as a smorgasbord, a mini-buffet of sandwich fixings, challenging one another to try new combinations. Feel free to sneak less desirable foodstuffs onto your cutting board, but remove the pressure to eat any one thing. A surefire way to feel cozy is through full bellies.

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While it’s potentially hazardous to warm your socks in the microwave or heat up cold feet with the hair dryer, HotHands Toe Warmers tucked into slippers can provide hours of toasty tootsies.

The best way to unwind together is cuddled under a blanket, with a bowl of popcorn (have you tried topping it with shredded parmesan yet?) and a family-favorite movie on the screen.

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Heeral Chhibber / CAMP

While meditation may be daunting for little ones, leading a guided wind-down with extra attention to detail can help anyone relax. With everyone on their backs, eyes gently shut, help bring attention to breathing in and out, encouraging everybody to keep count of their breaths after each exhale. When you’ve hit 20, lead a slow stretch to get everybody back to their feet.

The joy of "gezellig" is that it means something different for everybody. Whatever your "gezellig" is, with these helpful tips, you and your family will be sure to understand why it’s so popular, even if it’s your first time exploring this Dutch concept.