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Still searching for the perfect holiday gifts? Then head straight for the Nordic Market, a seasonal pop-up shop at the Source Market Hall that’s curated by the owners of the Vail Valley boutique Hygge Life. Here, you’ll find a carefully curated collection of gifts for home and hearth, each embodying the Scandinavian philosophy of coziness known as hygge (pronounced who-ga).
The concept of hygge encompasses everything you need for a quiet winter night at home: natural fibers, soft textures, and candles—lots of candles. The word “doesn’t completely translate into English,” says Alexandra Gove, owner and founder of Hygge Life, “but it can be used as a noun or a verb. The Danes will say, ‘Come over and let’s hygge together.’”
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For its pop-up at the Source, Hygge Life is staying true to the concept’s roots—both in the gifts that are on display and in the ambiance. “We wanted the installation to mimic a Scandinavian holiday market, so we’ve got a real Colorado Christmas tree and lots of greenery garlands,” says Gove, who runs Hygge Life with her husband Koen van Renswoude. “Our color palette is very neutral and we always have lots of candles lit.”
The shop is indeed a treasure trove of Danish candles—all hand-dipped and pure white. The high-quality and long-burning selection ranges from the smallest candles, which Gove calls “breakfast candles,” to large pillars and even special outdoor candles with a wick designed to withstand wind. “If you’re having a holiday party, this is perfect for outside your front door or on your patio,” Gove says. But our favorite is the Christmas countdown candle, on which each day in December is individually marked; burn it daily until the big day. (We picked up one for next year.) To show off those candles, Gove and van Renswoude have curated a collection of Sirocco Living candleholders (from $30). Made in Egypt from salt stone or alabaster, each one is unique and creates a lovely soft glow.
Natural fibers are a hygge must, and to check that box, the Hygge Market offers chunky woven blankets from Colorado’s Broadwick Fibers (starting at $330). Pair with a ceramic “hygge mug” from Aurora-based Mortar and Stone ($28) and you’ll never leave your sofa.
For those who like to wear their hygge goods, there’s a small collection of delicate jewelry that Gove personally selects. “I want a hygge feeling even in the jewelry,” she says. “These are understated, simple, sweet pieces that are all very high-quality.” Last but not least, there are fleece-lined slippers ranging from baby booties to size 13s. Imported from Europe and lined with sheep wool, they’ll keep your feet warm and never get stinky—which would be so not hygge.
If you go: The Hygge Market is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Tuesdays, and will close for the season at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve. 3350 Brighton Blvd.