How do You Hygge?

After weeks of dry and warm Summer months, I am sitting here on this Wednesday afternoon, watching the rain cascade down the windows, while in the distance rumbles of thunder make me wonder how my dog at home is holding up. He does not like thunder.  I actually do like rainy days – especially when they are not interfering with the QCFSBO photoshoots. But there just is something about sitting in a dry, and warm place, preferably with a cup of something warm, and a good book, don’t you think?

Some years ago, a new buzzword arrived on the scene and has stubbornly hung around since. The word ‘Hygge’ was thrown at us by just about every website, dozens of books, blogs, TV etc. Just on the remote off chance that you have spent the past few years on a sunny island in the Caribbean, blissfully and completely off the grid, Hygge is a Danish term meant to convey the sharing of friendship and family in a warm and comforting environment. If you had mental images of flickering candlelight, warm fires either outside, or in an indoor fireplace, blankets, and an intimate group of smiling people sitting together holding steaming beverages, then you pretty much got it.

It makes sense that the Danes have this concept, and I’d wager the other Northern folk have it too. They have weeks of complete or near darkness, lots of snow and ice, and within that grew a tight sense of sharing and community. Even the Germans have a concept called Gemütlichkeit which is rather similar to the Danish Hygge, but seriously, unless you’re German you’re probably better of  pronouncing Hygge  rather than Gemütlichkeit. The idea behind it though is the same, togetherness, community but focusing on small, comfortable groups of people, a sharing of anything from food and drink to a comfortable silence, to music, or conversation, there are no rules really.

As late summer approaches early fall we all recognize that feeling that comes with it. A feeling of nostalgia as the signs of the change in seasons makes itself known from the increase of rain, to the slant of the sunlight in the evenings, and the gradual flocking of birds in a changing landscape.

Hygge shouldn’t cost you anything other than what you already have. Don’t get sucked in to clever marketing, you don’t need the cuddly Scandinavian blankets, or the mugs with the moose, what you have on hand will do just fine. If you have friends, call them over on an impromptu evening, just enjoy being together, light some candles, offer warm beverages, maybe you baked cookies, or have other simple snacks. Remember that Hygge is not about entertaining, but rather a time of shared comfort and togetherness.  My best friends and I have what might be considered an entire hyggelig weekend every autumn where the three of us rent a cabin for a few nights, bring food,  tea, coffee, wine and our knitting. Yes, we talk a lot, but we also sit for hours in comfortable silence  as the camp fire spits and crackles before us, and our needles click in a reassuring rhythm as we make magic with our yarn, row after row.

The idea here is to reconnect and stay connected with your friends and family without stressing out over entertaining, cleaning, having the right snacks, choosing the right music, and stressing over your wine selection.

I think I’ll text my friend now and ask her if she wants to come over this Friday for “einen gemütlichen Abend, “ or a hyggelig evening.

[photo credit liolaliola on instagram.]

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