Monday, January 8, 2007

What is Hygge

I tried to explain this concept in my first post, but I just found a site ( that has an excellent description of hygge. This is what I strive for in my life and relationships. This is hygge:

"The Danish word Hygge (hu-gah) is a feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary everyday things simply extraordinary; whether it's using real lights on a Christmas tree or breaking out the good wine when friends come over. It's about owning things you only truly love or that inspire, being present in yourself and your life, putting effort into your home without being Martha Stewart or buying a bed in a bag. It's about being conscious and authentic from home to work to friends to celebrations and making all events {no matter how big or small, mundane or exciting} matter. Words like cosiness, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, fellowship, simpleness and living well are often used to describe the idea of Hygge.

"Some refer to Hygge as the Art of Creating Intimacy (with yourself, friends and home). Technology and modern day busy-ness has removed Americans from themselves, their homes and ordinary tasks, making them feel as though these things are hard to do, have no importance or are too time-consuming. Danes, however, only like to do things that are fun, nourish the soul and are familiar so they find ways to incorporate that into their daily life. By creating simple rituals without effort {such as brewing real tea with a little china cup every evening to stopping at the farmers market every week to buy flowers} the Danes see both the domestic and personal life as an artform and not every drudgery to get away from.

"Taking pride in what you have now and not just what you dream are part of Danish life and Hygge. Think of it as what Chic is to the French; a lifestyle that can explain a table top to a dinner party to a charming house or a personal way of being. Basic, uncomplicated, unexaggerated - Hygge!"

How do I bring it in to my life and relationships? I set the dinner table in color coordinating placemats, napkins and plates; light candles around the home most evenings; warm up my coffee mug and milk before adding the coffee in the morning; froth that warmed up milk for the coffee; bring fresh flowers into the home every now and then; light the tiki torches around the pool on a warm evening; play a little Sinatra and Diana Krall on the iPod when friends are over for wine; little things make the ordinary extraordinary.

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