Have you heard of the Danish word "hygge" before? Yeah, me either.
I was in Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago for something completely unrelated to this book. Isn't that how all the most amazing books are discovered?
Anyway... I stumbled on this book called The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living. I have been challenging myself to try new things this year, so I figured I would give it a chance.
First of all, I had no idea the word was pronounced "hoo-ga". I spent the entire reading of the book saying "higgy" in my head, even though the phonetic spelling was right on the cover. Please forgive my ignorance.
Hygge is defined as a feeling of comfort, coziness, togetherness, and well-being. The Amazon.com description of the book gives a great explanation of the feeling of "hygge".
Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on a sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing comfort food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table. It is the warmth of morning light shining just right on a crisp blue-sky day.
The Little Book of Hygge is a great, bite-sized look into the concept of hygge. Don’t expect any Doctorate level writing on the subject; the book- as the title suggests- is a ‘little’ glimpse into this Danish feeling of cozy contentment. And that's what makes it perfect to read. The act of reading this book is, in itself, an act of hygge. Normally I read books on my Kindle app for iPad, but this book should really be read in hardcopy, while cuddled in bed with the blankets wrapped around you.
Most of us have experienced this feeling in our lives, and now that I know there is a Danish word for the feeling, I will probably be more conscious of the times when I am in the midst of a hygge moment.
And THIS is why I love the Christmas/Holiday season! Regardless of religion or belief system, there seems to be this sensation of warmth, coziness, and togetherness at the end of the year. I love seeing people smile more and find reasons to gather together as friends and family. I LOVE IT, and I wish we could embrace that feeling all year long.
My Version of Hygge
I’m currently writing this while sitting on the couch with my son. We have the space heater set to low, a large throw blanket covering our legs, and a bowl of popcorn between us. I'm drinking hot tea with milk and sugar out of my favorite mug. And Netflix is playing Secret Life of Pets (again). It’s our traditional Friday night movie night, and in true mother-son fashion, we will probably be asleep in about 20 minutes.
I look forward to this time all week. I get to spend some time with my son, and I get to unwind from a long work week. I'm warm and cozy, and I feel the most refreshing sense of contentment. It is proof that happiness is not difficult or expensive to achieve; it can be found in the simplest moments with the people we love.