10 Essentials for a Gezellig Autumn

10 essentials for a gezellig autumn (2)

The leaves are starting to turn. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a while now. Autumn is by far my favourite time of year. It swirls rustic colours and cinnamon spice. In autumn, life is more gezellig.


Gezellig. You’re probably wondering what on the earth that means. Gezellig is an untranslatable Dutch word that describes a feeling of cozy contentment and togetherness, similar to the Danish word hygge.

Only, hygge has become cliche, and my roots are Dutch.

So gezellig it is.

But what exactly makes autumn gezellig? It’s different things for different people. These are ten things that give me that sense of cozy contentment in autumn:

1. A warm blanket

My home is around a hundred years old, which means that it is wonderfully charactered … and not-so-wonderfully drafty. In one corner of the living room, there is a large basket piled high with soft blankets and beautiful quilts that my girls and I love to cozy up under. The kids will often wrap themselves in a blanket while doing schoolwork, and I love to spend evenings snugly tucked under a blanket while reading or chatting with my husband about the day. There’s just something about snuggling up with a blanket that makes family time … gezelliger.

2. A cozy shawl

Ah, the shawl. It’s basically a blanket that you can leave the house in without fear of judgment. Even at home, while doing chores or teaching children, a shawl keeps me feeling cozy while still allowing for freedom of movement.

4. A good book

“I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.”
—C.S. Lewis

There is nothing I love more than cozying up with a good book. My favourite series of all is the Mitford Series by Jan Karon {affiliate link}. These books combine humour with depth. I love getting lost in the quirky little town of Mitford.

5. A steaming mug

Coffee, tea, hot chocolate—there is something soothing about sipping from a mug of your favourite hot drink. I’ll often make a big pot of mint tea for my girls to sip on in the mornings. My favourite comfort drink is fresh-ground coffee in the french press or some chai tea with a little milk. Mmmm.

6. Soft music

Our day is much calmer when there’s soft music playing in the background. We alternate between worship, classical, jazz and big band.

7. A crisp walk

“Autumn … the year’s last, loveliest smile.”
—William Cullen Bryant

Crunching through the leaves. The earthy smell of the forest. Crisp cool air. Burnished reds, yellows and coppers. There is nothing lovelier than a walk in the woods in autumn with friends. Autumn holds a beauty that no other season holds.


8. Dutch soup

Groentesoep met balletjes. Dutch soup, although simple to make, is a treat. I make it the way my mother always made it: a package of chicken noodle soup; a package of vegetable soup (groentesoep); some potatoes, carrots and celery diced small; some extra soup noodles; and tiny homemade meatballs or chunks of ground beef. Served with maggi and thick slices of bread with gouda, this is comfort food at its best.

9. Freshly baked bread

My other go-to comfort food is freshly-baked bread. The smell of bread wafting through the air is one of the things that makes our house a home. I let the bread machine do the hard work. Then I take the dough out and split it between two small loaf pans to rise (covered) for 45 minutes before popping it into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 and it’s beautifully golden.

Often, I add garlic, Italian herbs and cheese to my base recipe. Other times, I leave it plain and pair it with either hummus, spinach dip or artichoke and asiago dip. It’s perfect to share with friends.

10. An intimate gathering

Speaking of friends, I love having a friend or two over for coffee and a chat. I usually put out a few plates of food: cheese and crackers, fruit, veggies, my bread and dip. Then we make ourselves cozy in the living room and spend a couple of hours catching up. Gezellig!

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