This winter the word hygge seems to be everywhere, and from what I’m reading it sounds like a marvelous idea. Although we Americans often translate it loosely as “cozy”, that doesn’t capture the full meaning of the word. In The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge, author Pia Edberg gives her definition of hygge :
hygge (n/vb.): /HOO-gah/
the Danish concept of coziness…
…the art of creating warmth, comfort, and wellbeing through connection, treasuring the moment, and surrounding yourself with the things you love.
Flaky, sweet, pastries are hygge, especially warm from the oven, as is brisk exercise such a snowshoeing or skiing; the hygge feeling is enhanced, according to my books, if such activities are shared with friends and/or family. All of the authors I’ve been reading stress the importance of social connection and togetherness, and stress that these strong relationships and making time with each other a priority are what help them survive their long, dark, frozen winters (kind of like our Minnesota winters, yes). Pia notes that hygge is a lifestyle that feels like being “wrapped up…in a big hug.” You’ll know you’re experiencing hygge when you sense that you are really home: safe, content, happy, and grounded in the present moment.