Apparently there is a trend sweeping Britain that I wasn’t aware of – the concept of Hygge (pronounced HOO-gah). It was one of the top 10 words of 2016, and there have been 20 books written on the topic (coming to a bookstore near you soon). And in the week since I learned the term, one of my favorite foodie blogs popped up with recipes. How could I be so behind-the-curve that I’ve never heard of the biggest thing to hit popular culture since Marie Kondo told us how to fold our undies?
Hygge is the Danish word for cozy, but seemingly doesn’t translate well to English, and is so much more than just cozy. It involves fuzzy knitted socks, candles (unscented), fires, blond wood, cake, glogg, and — other people. It appears that a raging snowstorm provides bonus points. All of this offers a great sense of comfort and contentment.
And who should know better about coziness and contentment than the Danes, who usually top the list of happiest countries. The US comes in at an unlucky 13th place. (Sigh — that topic is best saved for another posting ….)
Author Louisa Thomsen Brits calls it “a practical way of creating sanctuary in the middle of very real life.” And since timing is everything, it seems that there has never been a better time to create sanctuary in the middle of the very real life that looms ahead.
So how do YOU bring some hygge into your life? Best to stay home, gather family and friends, get everyone wrapped in blankets, serve a warm drink, light a fire and some candles. Probably no need to purchase anything new, although there seems to be an entire marketplace of textiles, knitting patterns and cookbooks to help you find your inner-hygge.
I got to practice some hygge of my own this week while visiting Cheryl during The Storm of 2017. There was hard rain for several days, with flooding, trees down and the power out. What better excuse to light lots of candles, bundle up (no heat in the house!) and talk, talk, talk. It happened that Cheryl had received mulling spices for Christmas, and there was a bottle of red open. That mixed with some home-pressed apple juice made for a delicious and warming before-bed drink.
Cheers to some hygge-ing of your own this winter.