Tis the season to be Hygge!
Everyone from the New York Times to every interior design Instagram account holder is talking about hygge. If you’ve been living under a rock or some snow (in some area of the U.S.) you’ve been missing out on the latest and greatest import from Denmark: Hygge! Hygge (pronounced HOO-GAH) is actually a Norwegian word meaning “well being” but the Danes have been using it since 18th century. Ok, here’s what it’s now being marketed a in the U.S.: the ultimate in cozy times. Ha! I’ve been practicing hygge since I was a child, except my mother called it living on a budget and being thankful for the little things in life that make life worth living.
You see, hygge is not about buying the latest scented candles, although candles are a must for creating that relaxed, beautiful lighting for hygge times. No, hygge is about spending time either alone but preferably with your friends and loved ones, enjoying each others company, being present and appreciating life’s simple pleasures. When is the best time of the year for Hygge? Why winter of course! The Danes and neighboring Scandinavians, don’t get to see that much sun during the winter. Winters are dark and long. I know this first hand as I lived in Sweden for almost five years. Danes keep close to each other as a way to get through long, dark winters and enjoy themselves at the same time. Eating comfort food, spending time with friends at home or in a café over candlelight, riding a bike,can all be hyggelig. It’s a state of mind, a way of being in the world. So pull on your wool socks, light some candles, pour some piping hot glögg for your friends and enjoy the blessing of being warm and safe inside on a cold winter’s night or day.
Top Illustration by Marc Rosenthal