How do you get your hygge on?
This beautiful Danish concept has become quite commercialized, so that as soon as we hear the word hygge (pronounced hooguh), our mind jumps to bulky sweaters, crackling fires and hot chocolate (or mulled wine). But hygge is so much more than these accoutrements of a cozy retreat.
Hygge is the warmth and comfort of friends, and family.
Hygge is nostalgia and gratitude.
Hygge is the pursuit of everday happiness.
Hygge is the feeling of a loving hug without any physical contact.
Hygge is the peace and renewal of a moment of solitude.
Hygge is living in your NOW. Enjoying THIS moment.
Hygge is not just for cold, stormy weather. Hygge is for every day, all seasons. But hygge is especially important during the bustling, often stressful holiday season.
We know how much we try to cram into the weeks around Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, and New Years. If you are like me, each year you say, “This year will be different.”
Well, it CAN be different with a little planning and a lot of awareness and hygge.
The most intriguing thing about our fondest hygge memories is that generally, nothing remarkable is happening. They are not major celebrations or formal parties or luxury trips or elaborate dinner parties.
Our fondest memories are like a warm, comforting hug that brings feelings of deep satisfaction and safety. That is hygge.
What are your fondest memories of holidays past?
What memories bring you that warm nostalgia that is so comforting? What do you feel? What do you hear? What do you smell or taste? Who are you with? Where are you? How does the space feel and look?
You may not readily be able to answer all of those questions. But I am 95% certain that at the heart of those memories is a feeling of harmony and togetherness. And two things not present are drama and mobile phones.
My most treasured holiday memories are:
Baking Christmas cookies with my mother and sister in our tiny “one butt” kitchen. Dozens and dozens of cookies for family and friends. And many “accidentally” broken ones to be eaten while we baked.
Christmas morning in the years after my children realized who Santa was. We made a decadent brunch of Hershey Kisses pull-apart bread, fruit ambrosia with real pudding and whipped cream, quiche, and hot chocolate with more whipped cream. Our morning stretched leisurely into the afternoon as we ate and opened gifts one at a time so that everyone could share the surprises, try out new gadgets, and model new clothes.
The heart of these hyggeligt memories is unhurried time with people I love, laughter and sharing and a sense of coziness the made me sure all is right with the world.
The Danes seem to have mastered the routines of hygge. And you can too.
• Put on your hyggebukser (hoogabucksr) – those favorite pants that you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing in public but are oh, so comfy and immediately bring a sense of calm.
• Create your personal hyggekrog (hooguhcrow) – cozy nook. This is a quiet corner, preferably with a view of nature. A comfy chair. Fresh flowers or a green plant. A crackling fire. A candle or three. When things start to get hectic, this is YOUR place of retreat with a cup of tea and deep breathing.
What are your hyggeligt memories?
How can you get your hygge on?