Gezellig means cosy and content. It’s the Dutch equivalent of hygge. Think of it like the human version of a cat purring. Here are 9 ways you can get yourself some Dutch gezelligheid.
1. Make Appointments
The Dutch, in general, don’t appreciate you turning up on the doorstep to invite yourself in for a cup of coffee and a chat. The Netherlands is a nation of agenda keepers so make an appointment and don’t just turn up if you want to get off on the right foot and keep it gezellig beyond the front door.
2. Use Candles
It may get dark early outside from September onwards but see that as another invitation to welcome gezelligheid into your home. Dutch homes are adorned with candles. Lots of candles. It makes for a gezellige sfeer.
3. Keep Lighting Low
Talking of candles, as we were, to be gezellig you need to keep the lighting low but the light sources plentiful. Look around any Dutch living room and you are sure to find a number of table and floor lamps, in addition to candles.
4. Serve Iets Lekkers with the Coffee
If someone is coming over for a cup of coffee (after having made an appointment with you of course) then make sure you have something lekker to go with the coffee. Think a piece of appeltaart or a koffiebroodje and you’re sure to have the gezelligheid well under control.
You could also host a borrel – a stronger type of drink with a little something savoury.
5. Eat as a Family
Dutch families often eat dinner together. They sit around the dining table at 6pm together. In this day and age that is certainly something to aspire to – and to try and replicate.
6. Cook at the Table
Once you get the family around the table get out the fondue, gourmet or raclette and cook together at the table. That is serious gezelligheid!
7. Embrace a December
Instead of getting depressed when the cold dark winter comes around think of it as a chance to embrace all that is gezellig at the end of a year.
8. Take Part in the Avondvierdaagse
Fancy a gezellig evening walk with hundreds of others? Many of them children? And then four evenings in a row? Then the avondvierdaagse is for you. Everything you need to know is here.
9. Throw Yourself into Pakjesavond
Pakjesavond is celebrated on the 5th December and it the epitome of Dutch celebrations. This is the most gezellig of Dutch celebrations so be sure to participate.