The Danish concept of hygge (pronounced hoó-ga) is popular these days. It seems you can’t turn on the TV or open a magazine without seeing it. I even just bought a book on hygge knitting patterns.
But what is this hygge thing?
The closest English word to hygge is coziness, but even that doesn’t capture it. For Danes, the heart of hygge is happiness and comfort. It’s a kind of anti-stress mantra that encourages sharing lovely meals and moments together with good friends and family.
Almost anything or anyone can encompass hygge: a meal, a person, a conversation, clothing, a restaurant, a hotel, a room, furniture, a town, a city, a country or a party.
As you can imagine, hygge is particularly important during the holiday season. If you really want to lower your stress level and squeeze as much jolly out of this hectic month of December, be a little Danish and incorporate hygge into your life.
Conversations: hygge’s social thread. When Danes arrive at a party, they walk around the room and greet every single person, whether they know them or not. If you don’t do that, be aware that it is considered rude, and you may get the un-hygge stamp- the social kiss of death. With loneliness at epidemic levels during the holidays, a human connection can really make your day.
Candles: the pillars of hygge. If you visit Denmark during the holiday season, or really anytime of year, you’ll notice that there are candles everywhere, even in shops and in the airport! Do like the Danes and transform even the most mundane moments with candles. Light them at every meal- even breakfast- especially in this dark season. It adds a warm glow to everything.
Cuisine: the hygge glue: There is a Danish saying that there is no hygge without food. When I was in my early 20’s living in Denmark, we all got together for hygge during the weekends. One person would make a pot of stew or chili and everyone else would bring beer and wine. No matter how modest your dwellings, you would squeeze in a bunch of people for a seated dinner. You can’t go to anyone’s house in Denmark without being offered something to eat. It is a small but mighty gesture that says you are welcome in my home.
And most importantly
Continuation: Hygge as a habit. Hygge isn’t just for the holidays. You can continue to practice it year round. Hygge is in the small, everyday gestures and moments that transform ordinary situations and encounters into something more meaningful.
From all of us at Pomeline Jewelry, we want to wish you a hygge-filled December and hygge throughout 2020!