Holiday Hygge

There’s a Danish / Norwegian concept called hygge that runs strong in my tiny Sapporo apartment, especially throughout the winter. It essentially means “cozyness”, which can be evoked through a variety of aesthetic means. So, as the snow made it first real solid downfall the other night, and snowshoeing season officially began (for me anyway), I decided to re-hyggefy my home through the power of LED lighting. Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference.

It all starts with our Christmas tree, which has slowly morphed into the “winter” tree, being that it pretty much stays up until spring. See my past post on why we can get away with this without scornful looks from wider society.

The tree is definitely the brightest lighting element in our 2LDK. If I had my druthers, it would stay up all year. But I’ve been adding, year after year, several new pieces that bring a healthy glow in more subtle ways.

First up is the bookshelf, which through the years has transitioned into a micro man-cave with nick knacks and book nooks competing for space.

With a flat glass reading light for illumination, my handmade Nanoblock sakura viewing scene really comes alive.

An oldie but a goodie… This DIY library from ROBOTIME makes me yearn for all the books I haven’t read sitting in my own library.

The old coffee shop (again from ROBOTIME) is in need of some super glue repair on the yawning at the moment, but still looks good with the help of a snake-style book light.

I also lit up the camping car kit in my upper man-cave. Every little bit helps…

The real gem of this year’s holiday hygge celebration is a new ROBOTIME creation, a Christmas snow house. This one even features a built-in music box that plays “Jingle Bells” (Maybe I will feature that in a follow-up post).

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I’ve added some Mario Paint imagery on the background monitor as an experiment. It really ties the room together, especially at night. The frustration that goes into assembling these miniatures can assault the nerves. But through the years I have sped up the process and completed this last model in only a couple weeks.


Christmas has a vibe to it that can very easily be shattered in Japan. When you roll out of bed on the 25th, ready to enjoy opening presents and enjoying some Bailey’s and coffee, but look out the window to see kids walking to school – that is a vibe killer. When your Japanese in-laws come over for Christmas dinner, only to eat stuffing and mashed potatoes with chopsticks while asking if it is “Korean food”…that is also a vibe destroyer. Lighting, music, and an unending commitment to holiday cheer are my only defenses. And a little Bailey’s.

What do you do to combat the vibe killers this time of year? Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. The next year promises to be interesting for all. That is for sure.

What do you think?