Hygge (pronounced Hoo-ga) is a Danish word. It is a word that does not have an exact definition. In fact, if you google it you will find no definition is the same. Basically it is "the absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle soothing things." The Danes are known for routinely being considered the happiest people in the world. It is somewhat baffling since a majority of the time in Denmark is winter or rain.
I've been reading a lot about hygge as winter is now upon us. I believe life is too short to be miserable, so I am studying up on hygge. Come to find out that we already incorporate much of this philosophy in our cabin. Most of the articles have some basic themes.
Fire is important. Either candles, fireplaces, or (in our case) our little stove. Fire creates a feeling of peace and coziness. A feeling of relaxation is the central theme for hygge.
Hygge embraces connecting with nature. Getting outside to enjoy the fresh air. The saying is "there is no bad weather, only bad clothes." It is tradition that Ella and I get out every Saturday or Sunday to go for a run, walk, or snowshoe. It rare we miss our weekend outings and we are aware of how to dress for cold weather.
The articles also encourage spending time with people and do group activities. I think we have that covered also. My nieces know that if they come to our cabin and there is even an inch of snow on the ground we will be sledding.
Since winter lasts forever in our neck of the woods, it is usually still winter when our nephew and his family come out to turkey hunt. Besides hunting, we always find plenty to do, enjoy good meals, and play a mean game of Bear in the Woods.
When the activities are over there is always a hot cup of coffee and a good book waiting. Pair that with a cozy blanket and a roaring fire. Then throw in a scented candle. Don't forget the dog curled up at your feet and our cabin becomes hygge heaven.
I'm sure it is even cozier if the dog is on the couch and you are quilting or watching a good movie.
Don't forget to look out the window and enjoy the beauty of winter. It doesn't hurt if you are inside making good food. The smell of homemade bread certainly creates a feeling of comfort.
Of course if you are going to make good food, it is even better if you can share it with family and a stuffed penguin. (I have no idea why my husband is holding a stuffed penguin.)
Don't forget dessert. A pie will help get rid of anything annoying (except dishes and the snow that needs shoveled). I guess shoveling would fall under the winter activity category.
Cozy blankets are another mainstay in the hygge articles I read. I'm up for that.
In fact, I consider our bed to be one of the coziest, most peaceful, and loving places a person could be. My husband made the bed and I made the quilt on it. Add that with an open window and flannel sheets and life is very good indeed.
I encourage you to read about hygge. I can say that when I am home I am happy and it has a lot to do with the things that most hygge articles recommend. Life is too short to be unhappy or stressed and long winters can add to that feeling. I try to do everything possible to make our home inviting for guests and a comfort for my husband and I.
I hope my post sparked some interest in this Danish belief and you are able to do a little reading about hygge and incorporate as much as possible into your lives. I promise you won't be sorry. Have you heard of hygge?