Hygge , pronounced Hoo-gah, is the Danish word for cozy and extends to the Danish practice of slowing down and being comfortable during the cold, dark days of winter. Actually Danes practice the simplicity of life year-round, but it is particularly inviting here in northern New England during the winter.
It is one practice I can embrace whole- heartedly and am, in fact, a long-time disciple .To whit: As soon as I get in the door I put on what I call my “comfies.” I take off my shoes and whip off my bra before putting on a t-shirt and/or a sweatshirt. Next I replace my jeans or regular pants with those that are loose and forgiving and then complete the outfit with warm socks. Once I settle down to read, I might cover myself with one of varying weights of “throws” I keep close at hand and call my cat, Bennie, to snuggle beside me for extra warmth.
Then there are the comfort foods. My comfort foods might not be your comfort foods, but mine are Campbell’s tomato soup, mac and cheese, baked potato, tea, hot chocolate and, incongruously, considering texture and warmth, Cheez-Its and chips.
During the winter months when it gets dark so early and the roads might be icy, I tend to stay in the house in the evening a practice much encouraged by the Danes who tend to withdraw from society at this time. Oh, but the candles. One is encouraged to light MANY candles, plain not scented, and bask in the mellow light.
But they do encourage having friends in for quiet evenings of music and perhaps games while serving uncomplicated foods. I need to work on this aspect of Hygge a bit more.
Dorothy C. Judd © 2017
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