My husband and I love to watch House Hunter’s International on HGTV. Last week we saw an episode that took place in Denmark, where a couple was looking for an apartment to rent. They visited one that was really small. By the couple’s expressions, I could tell what they were thinking: This is not going to work.
The realtor showing them the property smiled and said the apartment was nice and updated, it was just “hygge.” The couple had no idea what he was talking about. Neither did my husband and I.
The realtor explained that hygge (pronounced HOO-ga), is a Danish word meaning cozy. Oooh. A nice way of saying tiny, cramped, not much space.
Not at all.
Hyggehouse.com defines the word as: acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary, but it is always cozy, charming or special.
Sounds amazing. I want and need more of that — mindfulness. Peaceful, simple, joyous living. Living in the present.
With the cooler weather and the holidays coming up, I’m looking forward to sitting by the fireplace and snuggling with a super soft blanket, warm fuzzy socks, and a cup of hot cocoa. I might read, watch a Christmas movie or stare at a crackling fire. Sounds cozy. I mean… hygge.
Hygge is a centuries-old tradition in Denmark. There’s something to be said about this lifestyle. The World Happiness Report shows that Denmark is routinely ranked as one of the world’s happiest countries.
Here are some ideas on how to create hygge in your home:
- Light candles or a fire. Relax from the warmth and glow. Light candles around the home and at the dinner table.
- Create a cozy nook (a hyggecrog). A cozy spot to settle and read. Comfy seating, warm lighting, a soft rug.
- Cook and bake. Think homemade sweets, comfort foods, and hot drinks. Simple, from scratch soups, stews, breads, cinnamon rolls, pastries, coffee and tea.
- Embrace simple rituals. Make tea and drink from a china teacup. Savor it, be still. Take time to be thankful.
- Write in a journal. Jot down what you’re thankful for and the things that make you happy.
- Take a bubble bath. Enjoy the serenity. Listen to the bubbles softly burst. Breathe in the soft, pretty scent surrounding you.
- Do a craft. Work on a puzzle, coloring book, knit, play a board game.
- Share time together. Not a fancy dinner party, but a simple get together at a charming restaurant or someone’s home. Laughter and good conversation, creating special memories.
I’m grateful I came across the word hygge, but more importantly, it’s meaning. During this busy holiday season, I’ll remind myself to take deep breaths and enjoy the simple pleasures of this time of year.
Keep it simple, familiar, and comforting. Spend time with those we love. It’s the small things that can bring the most joy in our lives.
Second image courtesy of here
Third image courtesy of here