Picture this: Soft music playing. Candles casting flickering shadows over the smiling faces of your close friends. A wonderful Italian pasta filling the room with delicious smells. Warm bread drenched in butter. Bottles of your favorite wine on the table. Laughter. Conversation.
The feeling that this picture evokes is one of contentment. Satisfaction. Pleasure.
That, my friends, is called hygge, my new and favorite word. My new mantra.
Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish word described as the feeling created by a good moment. Contentedness. Charm. Comfort. Familiarity. Simpleness. Shake all of those words up in your head and sprinkle them over your soul and you have hygge, a recipe for happiness.
The legendary happy Danes created hygge to try and shake the dreary long days of winter by initiating rituals to give comfort. Warmth. A recognition of the moment and celebrating it.
A cup of tea on a cold afternoon, sitting by a fire, wearing your favorite socks. A soft light glowing next to a cozy bed scattered with pillows and soft blankets. Dinner and good conversation with friends at an inviting table, strewn with food and glasses of wine.
Simple pleasures. Simple joys. Hygge.
In thinking about simple pleasures, it’s easy to see the need for them. In these times of stressful urgency, confusion and turmoil, a simple pleasure is yearned for every day. A relief from the stormy world we live in. A respite from the cold attitude of uncertainty. A familiar face in a sea of strangers.
We search inwardly for comfort and peace, for solace and clarity. A personal touch in an impersonal, electronic world. But our spinning minds struggle to slow down enough to find the hygge that we desperately need.
I want to create hygge moments. A pause for our soul’s yearning to quiet the chatter.
I want to live like the Danish and experience hygge every day.
I want my children, grandchildren and friends to feel hygge when they pass through my front door. When they spend time with me. When they feel my arms around them. When they think of me. A hug to the soul, even without my presence. A legacy from me to them.
I’m on a mission to invite Denmark attitude into my home – to create hygge in my home and my life, every day.
How can we do that? What is the recipe for creating hygge in our home and in our lives?
I love impromptu dinners or get-togethers. To always have something in the freezer and my pantry to throw together a quick meal or appetizer. A bottle of wine on standby. A playlist of soft music ready to go.
I love a comfortable table setting, with quirky ill-matched serving dishes. Bright colors. Cloth napkins. Informal. Key word – comfortable.
I love flowers sitting around. Random jars or empty cans as their vases, creating a casual feel. Pretty. Inviting. A vivid display of bohemian coziness.
I love “sitting places” that create small conversation areas in my home and my yard where people can relax and feel at home. Inviting. Soul-provocative. Intimate.
Soft lighting. The flicker of candles. An aura of calmness. Simple things. Simple pleasures.
For overnight guests, I spray a fresh scent on their sheets, lay out a clean bathrobe, air out their rooms, put a good book on their nightstand. Things to make them feel comfortable. At home. Welcome.
They say that hygge is about splurging. Not denying the pleasures you seek to make yourself and others feel good. It’s spoiling ourselves with the sweet gifts of fellowship. A communion of souls. Creating a nursery-type feel to swaddle our relationships and nestle joyfully in the sweet arms of pleasure.
The simple things that make you happy. Comfort. Joy. Simplicity. Relationships. Kindness. Caring about each other.
Maybe we all should invite Denmark into our homes to experience living Danishly. Maybe we all should think about how we can bring hygge into our lives. Start the trend. Create the sensation. Spread the contagious joy. Inspire others.
Think about what a difference we could make. A subtle change in the future that evokes familial attitude in an impersonal world. Moonflower Blooms moments. It’s inevitably what hygge is all about.
What are some ways that you bring hygge into your life? What simple pleasures do you create for your grandchildren that they will remember when they think of you? What do you have readily available for impromptu entertaining? Please share in the comments.