While Nordic Hygge has been the rage in Europe for quite some time, the term, “hygge,” is somewhat new yet becoming ever more popular in the states. Although the sentiment of a cozy home is an age-old yearning, its tradition is more desirable than ever during the holidays.
What is Hygge
VisitDenmark.com explains what “hygge” is — and how to pronounce it. “Hard to explain and even harder to pronounce, the Danish word ‘hygge’ (pronounced ‘hooga’) translates roughly to ‘cosiness’. But as our guide Anna discovers, there’s much more to the unique Danish concept of hygge.”
Elusive as it may be to some, the UK’s Telegraph sums it up this way:
We know hygge when we see it, but we’ve never avidly pursued it. So why now? “I think that many of us are craving a simpler, more meaningful life, one that nurtures and enriches us,” says the London-based Norwegian author of How To Hygge, Signe Johansen.
Yet author Signe Johansen in the new book, How to Hygge, characterizes the sentiment best, “A Danish/Norwegian word that translates as a feeling of cosiness, hygee can also mean kinship and conviviality. If mindfulness is about the self and looking inward, hygee is about being sociable and looking outward; it’s about taking pleasure in the simple things in life, in fellowship with kith and kin.”
As the days grow shorter and winter approaches, there isn’t a better time to adopt the essence of “hygee” for your life and home. Looking outward is so incredibly more rewarding than looking inward.
How to Add Hygee to Your Life and Home
1. Embrace Your Faith
Faith is an expression of hope for something and someone higher and larger than yourself. A hope and belief in a better tomorrow. Congregating and fellowshipping with others builds that faith. Attending special holiday events will enrich the season!
2. Spend Time in Nature
Embrace the contrast of the seasons. Spending time outdoors will calm, rejuvenate, and remind you how very large and beautiful our world is.
“But just to keep alive is not enough. To live you must have sunshine and freedom, and a little flower to love.” ~Hans Christian Andersen
3. Bring the Outdoors Inside
Bringing the outdoors inside expands your space to encompass the beauty of the world around us, bringing harmony to everyday lives. Deck your halls with freshly gathered greenery, pinecones… even bare branches that will last all winter long.
4. Light Candles
Bring the beauty, warmth and “coziness” to shorter days by lighting candles. The warm glow of candles inspires hope, imagination, and kinship. Spend an evening with your favorite people, a cuppa hot cocoa and someone you love.
5. Live Simply and Free from Clutter.
Organize your space. Remove household clutter that adds stress and distracts from that which is most important — family, conviviality… or kith and kin.
Read 31 Daily’s “Easy Steps to an Organized Life“
Fill your home with the quintessential aroma of coziness. Baking, anything really, permeates your home with a feeling of well-being. And of nourishment.
Take a look at some of 31 Daily’s Recipes!
7. Fill Your Table
Fill your home and table with people. Inspire conversation in a relaxed environment with simple, healthy and hearty food. Make it memorable with family and friends. And finally, remove any time constraints — make it last.
8. Add Natural Textures and Warmth to Your Home
Nordic design has always been minimalist, filled with nature’s own hues of natural beauty. However, add hygee is also about embracing elements that add comfort and joy. Add layers or texture in sumptuous throws and pillows. And don’t forget to display your treasures: family photos or heirlooms, memories, etc.
Read 31 Daily’s Reframing the Sharing of a Family Story
Urban Dictionary, one of my favorite sources, defines coziness as: “A sense of contentment, comfort, and warmth. A mug of cocoa, a romance novel, and my favorite blanket: that’s my idea of coziness on a lonely day at home.”
And if you need a little extra holiday cozy inspiration, you might enjoy my Christmas novel, Home for Christmas.
“Underpinning hygee is a craving for simplicity, an urge to pare everything back to basics. Jettison the anxieties and clutter of modern living to free up your time and energy to make the most of life.” ~ How to Hygee