Hygge – what is it?


For all of my life that I can remember I have been all about cozy.  I wrote about it on this blog post and also in my introduction here.  So many things make me feel cozy.  My grandparents house.  Memories of my childhood.  Holidays at home.  Family summer vacations at the beach. Watching thunderstorms. Going home to visit family.  Doing puzzles. Candles. Sitting around a fire.  I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

Enter the word Hygge.

Before I delve into that, I want to tell you that I am 1/4 Danish.  Now that may not be a big deal to those of you who are Italian or German or something, but I am a heinz 57 and if I am as much as 1/4 of anything, it’s pretty exciting to me!

Back to the word.  Hygge is a Danish word (see the connection?) which is hard to define and even more difficult to pronounce.  You pronounce the “y” with your mouth shaped like an “oh” while you are saying “ee”.  The gg is a hard g sound and the last e is almost an afterthought, but sort of like an “uh”.  You can google “how to pronounce hygge” and hear it for yourself.

Anyway, rather than give a dictionary definition, I will take the rest of this post to try to describe it.  Number one.  I am hygge.  I feel that all of my life this has been me and now I found a word that fits me.  To me, hygge is HOME.  It is my heritage.

I bought some tea that came with a book called “The Little Book of Hygge” that is all about how to live a hygge life.  You can click on that link and get it on Amazon.  Here are some of the things that were suggested:

  • comfortable furniture with throw pillows and natural fiber blankets
  • soft lighting, candlelight, strings of twinkle lights, sparkles, ambiance…
  • bay windows, small spaces, plants, teapots and mugs, nooks, cushions, hammocks, porch swings, benches under trees, flower gardens
  • jammies, sweats, large sweaters, wool socks, scarves, layers, cardigans, jumpers, layers
  • casual hairstyles
  • cooking slowly from scratch
  • hot drinks, popcorn, sourdough, soup, crock pots, sweets, cake, wine, chocolate, jam, mulled cider
  • hugs
  • soft textures
  • honey, vanilla, pine fragrances
  • the sounds of loons, the ocean, rippling brooks
  • planning and making memories and recording them in journals or scrapbooks
  • reminiscing, nostalgia…
  • puzzles, board games, coloring, photo albums, hand-crafts (cards, letters, crochet, knitting, cross-stitch, quilting, embroidering, etc)
  • notebooks and pens
  • put away the devices
  • summer hikes, biking, yard games (boules, croquet), camping, picnics, watching the stars, picking fruit together, outdoor movies, mushroom foraging
  • sledding, family ski trips
  • snow, rain, big storms (watching them safely from your window)
  • crackling fires, fireplaces, campfires, wood stoves
  • cabins, camping, vintage campers
  • autumn and winter
  • down to earth
  • togetherness, warmth, harmony, shalom, 3-4 intimate friends

Here are a few items to get you started on your own hygge life:






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