Still trying to figure out how to pronounce the second word in the title? It’s “hoo-gah,” and it’s a Danish word. Really, it’s more than a mere word. It’s an ideal or philosophy or lifestyle or – all of the above.
Have you ever read something that causes you to exclaim, “Yes! That’s me! That’s sooo me!”?
That’s how I was with a story I recently read about “hygge.”
Hygge apparently has no exact translation in English. “Coziness” is the closest synonym we’ve got. Here’s a list of things a person practicing hygge might enjoy:
- Fuzzy socks
- Crackling flames in a fireplace
- Hot mulled wine or cider, cocoa, tea – whatever
- Snuggling in pj’s under a comfy blanket
- Sitting quietly with friends and family around the fire while snow falls outside
Technically-speaking, one could also embrace hygge in warm climates and/or summer months. It’s just that the fine details of the sights, sounds, aromas and textures that would evoke feelings of coziness would likely be different.
Hygge is sometimes used as a verb, other times, a noun. So, one might need a little hygge in life or one might want to hygge a bit. Reportedly, Danish doctors even prescribe things like “tea and hygge” for patients suffering from minor illnesses such as the common cold.
Hygge is more about simplicity, embracing quiet and present moments, etc…than the “tools” used to create such an atmosphere. It’s about removing noise and clutter and busy-ness and chaos. It’s about drawing near to loved ones and enjoying one another’s presence.
True, one can hygge alone, but it’s even hygge-ier to hygge with someone you love.
One of my favorite things to do in winter is bundle up in a warm hat, mittens, coat, scarf and boots and take an early morning hike through our woods after a night of snowfall. Sometimes, my kids and I take mugs of hot tea or coffee along. It’s so quiet in the deep trails of our forest that if you stand still for a moment or two, you can actually hear snowflakes falling off tree branches.
I love to see the sparkle and glimmer of snow where no foot has yet trod; although sometimes we are equally delighted by hoof prints or other forest critter tracks (except that one time when we saw what was obviously a very, very, VERY enormous feline paw print that scared us so much we shortened our walk and headed back indoors for safety’s sake, ha ha).
Many of us are eagerly anticipating the glorious celebration to honor the birth of Christ, otherwise known as, “Christmas” that will soon be upon us. If you’re preparing your family’s
favorite traditions and customs, treats and games, outings and celebrations – why not try to add a little bit of hygge to your holiday schedule this year?
Comfort, hugs, coziness, feelings of contentment, peacefulness, harmonious living.
Hygge: taking ordinary, everyday tasks and turning them into them mindful, sacred, dignified, joyful experiences.
As a matter of fact, I think I’ll start a pot of coffee and curl up by our lighted Christmas tree, under the afghan my mother made, to enjoy the next few chapters in the book I’m reading.
Here’s to a little more hygge in your life today!
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.