(Embracing) Hygge

I started seeing the word Hygge over a year ago, but this year it seems to be everywhere.  There is no direct English translation for this Danish word.  The closest we come seems to be coziness.  It’s pronounced hue-ga or hoo-ga.   I think it’s probably like the way you would say “hug” while in the middle of a huge bear hug.

A quick Google search has over 12 million results.  From Millenials longing for connection to some peoples’ most hated word, it’s become a trend.

Usually, I avoid trends, but this one I embrace.

While some see it as a way to sell more material goods, or even a conspiracy, I think (like most things including the very Internet I discovered it on) it’s simply a neutral thing we can make negative, or positive depending on our personal bent.

In my corner of Colorado winter is just settling in for the season.  It’s been cold, but the snows are now in earnest.  At the same time we are in the run up to Christmas.  Everyone’s life is pretty full this week.  I’ve still gifts to wrap, food to prepare,  along with all the last minute things that come up.  And a gaggle of kids to keep from losing their collective minds in excitement while not crushing their joy.

I may need more coffee.

I’m thinking of ways after the holidays to have times of connection with others.  I’m planning evenings of togetherness after the busyness passes.  For the first time, I’m looking forward to January.

What I see in the longing for Hygge is the desire to connect with others more.  The idea that we can leave our troubles and worries at the door and just focus on the joy of being together is delightful to me.  Especially in this year of such division and anger.

I’m not trying to ignore that there are problems and I am the last person who wants people to pretend all is well.  Because, really, if we’re all just sitting around with our perfect masks in place by candlelight are we truly connecting?

What I’m desiring is a break from the constant complaining and criticisms.  A break from people putting their own (petty) gripes out there so loudly that no one enjoys being with them.  Yes, we’re all kinda busy.  Yes, the lines at the store are long.  Yes, the traffic stinks.

I want a time where everyone puts away their phones, turns off all the screens, and just actually interacts with the people in the room.  For a few hours.  Is that really a lot to ask?

This kinda sums up what I’m hoping for this weekend:

“Hygge is essentially drama-free togetherness time. It is cozying around or “at hygge sig,” but more than that, it is being aware that that cozy time is sacred—and treating it as such. Because Danes see hygge as such a fundamental aspect of good living, they all work together to make it happen. Hygge is “we time,” not “me time”.” 

Let’s all work together to make the time together sacred!  Because it is.  

It is.

Think about it.

Yes, Uncle Bob may drive us nuts with his politics, Aunt Mary should probably not have another glass of wine, and Cousin Kate is too loud.  Somebody forgot to bring the potatoes.  The turkey is dry.  The Amazon order didn’t arrive when we hoped.  The rolls got burned, again.  And you’ve heard that same story too many times.

Most of us though aren’t in a war zone.  We have food to celebrate with and people who care about us, even if we can annoy each other.

We haven’t ridden a donkey ninety miles, nine months pregnant only to give birth on a pile of hay.


*Take a moment today to think about how you can make the holiday more pleasant for those you’ll be with.

*Leave the drama and the critical spirit behind.

*Enjoy the ones you’re with.

I’ll be repeating this list to myself throughout the weekend.

Merry Christmas.


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