hygge and christmas magic in copenhagen

have you heard of the danish word hygge? it's a concept that does not have an equivalent single word in english, and it is explained/described in various different ways. essentially, hygge is the danish ritual of enjoying life's simple pleasures; a warm, glowing, deeply satisfying and cozy feeling of well-being. don't you just love that?! and isn't christmastime just full of hygge?! 

we spent last weekend in denmark's capital city, and definitely experienced some hearty hygge. we left saturday morning and returned sunday night, so it was a really quick trip but we had a great time and completely fell for copenhagen. it is a super cool city and is packed with christmas magic this time of year. 

here's some photos from our weekend...!

^^ after finding our hotel and dropping off our bags, we hit the streets exploring. luckily it wasn't too cold (when i first considered denmark in december i thought we'd absolutely freeze!). there were immediately pretty sites and pleasures around so many corners! ian and moses are in front of christiansborg palace, the seat of danish government. ^^

^^ our first destination was nyhavn harbour, the iconic picture of copenhagen and the spot we were most excited to see. it did not disappoint! i think nyhavn is now among my very top favourite spots in europe. ^^ here's a lot of pictures of the colourful harbour (i couldn't narrow them down anymore!) >>

^^ moses is loving facing outward in his new carrier, especially because he constantly has something to crew and drool on - ha! ^^

^^ it's just so so picturesque and charming! and those white stalls and hanging garlands mean -- christmas market!!! ^^
^^ we had lunch at the the copenhagen street food market - which is so cool. it's this big warehouse right on the water that is packed with all kinds of different food from all over the world. it was so hard to decide what to get to eat but we settled on a moroccan chicken platter and some super delicious fresh handmade pasta. i could go back to this place every day! ^^
^^ strolling through the nyhavn christmas market - pure magic. ^^

^^ see how the windows are lined with real pine bough garlands?! this was one of my favourite things about copenhagen at christmas time - windows like that everywhere! ^^

^^ we walked back up towards the town center and passed through a couple more christmas markets! can you even handle how awesome the lit-up icicles on that spectacular hotel are?! i was obsessed. ^^

^^ the longest pedestrian-only street in europe! we were on the hunt for a magnet here and enjoyed the street performers playing christmas music and the buzz and energy of the city. ^^

^^ by dinnertime, we made it to tivoli gardens. we didn't learn much about this place before we got there and we were blown away by it. tivoli is the oldest operating amusement park in the world, and was actually the inspiration for disneyland! and it is totally magical - i'm sure all year round, but especially at christmastime. i don't even know how to describe this place - i think it's one of those spots you just have to go to in order to understand. it's enchanting, whimsical, bewitching, and just so much fun. we wandered around and thoroughly enjoyed, and determined to come back with our kids in a few years. such a unique and marvelous place!! ^^ i feel like i wasn't able to capture tivoli christmastime very well (especially with all kinds of winter layers - not to mention a baby! - strapped to me) ... but here's a few attempts >>

^^ on sunday morning we went to church, and realized while we were there that the copenhagen temple was just around the corner! so after our meetings we walked down the street and loved seeing the temple in the middle of the city. ^^

^^ ^^ some sights from our walk from the bus stop back to the city center. there are tons of bikes in copenhagen ... and those dreamy bough-lined windows! ^^ ^^ 

^^ that spectacular icicle-decorated hotel, in the day time. i love it!! ^^

^^ another christmas market on the other side of nyhavn ^^

^^ a quick stop back at nyhavn, because we were passing by and because ... look at it!! ^^

^^ we walked all the way to the other side of town to see the famous little mermaid statue, passing the glorious frederick's church on the way. ^^

^^ and the last stop of our trip was to see the original christus statue at copenhagen's church of our lady. this depiction of the saviour jesus christ is very familiar (and quite beloved) to most mormons - replicas of it are used widely throughout our worldwide church. it was really special to see the original statue, which is so beautifully and simply displayed in such a gorgeous, bright building. when i first saw the statue through the church doors, i gasped a little, and my heart glowed with faith and love. i really believe that jesus is real, and that his arms are indeed outstretched. ^^ 

^^ isn't the statue so beautiful and so welcoming? we sat in the pews for a few minutes and soaked up the peace and goodness that filled our hearts as we thought about the saviour - the real reason for all that christmas magic - and for all hygge for that matter. ^^

{denmark was country number six for baby boy -- and number sixty for his mama! on that note, i just updated my world travel page :) } 


  1. i didn't know that the Mormon choice for statues is from a catholic church. I'm Catholic. :)
    I love, Charity, how open you and your family are to other faiths. Honoring that your church is so young, and that the history of others traditions is important. I love reading your blog and checking in on you and your cute family. Love your adventurous spirit and your ecumenical approach to faith traditions. Good for you! Love your spirit of Hygge too! Merry Christmas!

  2. Oh wow - these photos are beautiful! You may not think you captured Tivoli Gardens well in them, but you've certainly sold me on it for a future journey! I love seeing Moses's rosy cheeks in the photos too, he is such a little love. Thank you for sharing your holiday joy!

  3. Copenhagen is great. I'm glad you had a good time. The pictures are great. It is awesome to see the original Christus statue. There is an entire museum of Thorvaldsen sculptures that are awesome.

  4. Looks gorgeous! I am expecting in June and really liked your review of the Nesting Days carrier (I already purchased one)! It seems like that will be perfect for the first few months, but I am also on the lookout for carriers for older babies. I'm curious about what kind of carrier you are using on this trip and whether you like it/could do a review of it. I love learning from other mothers' experiences!

    1. check out the post i just published, and let me know if you have any other questions! :)

    2. Wow! I just have to say...WOW!


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