Hygge Days

A coworker and I were chatting, lamenting the dark rainy day and how winter was upon us. Both of us are summer children and this cold sunless weather was not boding well for her.

I mentioned something about experiencing hygge – the Scandinavian answer to winter. 

Hygge Definition and meaning

As 1/8 Danish ancestry, I heard this word a couple of years ago and after researching, immediately put this into practice. It becomes an act of doing things consistently and with intention – much like living the Christian life. They say it best:

Danes created hygge because they were trying to survive boredom, cold, dark and sameness and the undefinable feeling of Hygge was a way for them to find moments to celebrate or acknowledge and to break up the day, months or years. With so many cold, dark, days, the simple act of a candle glowing with a cup of coffee in the morning or a home cooked evening meal with friends can make a huge difference to one’s spirit.

from hyggehouse.com

While the seasons do not affect my mood, the lack of warm beach days does. To pull through winter, I try to make my house as cosy as possible. There are always quilts lying about, a season-scented candle burning, and fresh tea from the kettle. I also try to find drinks to fit the season too: this year I am going to attempt a hot buttered rum. The apple pie sangria I made for Thanksgiving kicked off the hygge season in our household.

I also know my coworker is going through a rough patch too – her job is stressful, her kids have a lot going on, and her marriage is sinking. She is in desperate need of some hygge.

My Sunday afternoon plan is to relax, so I’m inviting her over and share some hygge with her: what could be better for the soul than making Christmas cookies, this hot chocolate recipe (never tried it before!), and a candle burning with the soothing lyrics and canticle of Salt of the Sound playing? And hopefully she’ll take some cookies home so I don’t eat them all!

Summer will be here soon. Until then, I hygge.

Christmas Eve: A Silent Night

The clock struck 12 and I was still frosting cookies this Christmas Eve.  I made a huge amount of cookies for the Christmas banquet at one of the homeless shelters here in town.  My only regret is that I ran out of the good made-from-scratch frosting and ended up using some old store bought frosting I had in the pantry.  It didn’t taste nearly as good as what I made from scratch.

My husband was asleep upstairs, so I had myself a silent night, which is unusual for me when I’m in the kitchen.  The first few verses of the song silent night were running through my head, left over from the service at church tonight.  In reality, the gentle hum of the refrigerator and the purr of the fish tank pump were the melody in this silent symphony playing.

John Acuff once tweeted that we get to an age where we stop asking “What’s next?” and start asking “What is now?”  I’m there.  I’ve been there for awhile, despite still clinging onto the next thing.

I was hoping the next thing would be the exact opposite of silent.  And yet, here I am, on Christmas Eve, with a house so silent, that it would sound the same if no one was home.

And so far, the silence continues.  Perhaps for the rest of my born days.  Perhaps this is just an interlude before the volume is turned way up.  I can only guess; the Lord is taking care of that part.  And while I have no idea what is in His will for me, I continue to trust, though blindly stumbling into the future.

And rather quickly, I might add.