Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Engaging Hygge Year Round

Do you ever feel like you're the last one on the train when it comes to home decor, fashion, or new trends?  Sometimes I'm slow to catch on, or catch up for that matter!

When I first heard of Hygge several months ago, I was seeing quite a few Pinterest pins about it, so I saved them out of curiosity, then I went back and looked at all the articles and blog posts about it.   The more I read about it, the more I knew I wanted to incorporate it into my life and home.


Today I'm sharing a little insight on what I've learned about Hygge (pronounced something like hue-gah, and luckily pronouncing it is probably the hardest part!).  Hygge is a way of life and living that is traditionally practiced by the people of Denmark, Sweden, and other Scandinavian cultures, especially embraced during the wintertime. There is no single-word definition or explanation for Hygge:
  • Togetherness with friends and family
  • Relaxed & Cozy
  • Soft candle glow
  • Warm & Cozy
  • Calm & Peaceful
  • Cozy furnishings and clothes
  • Soft lighting
  • Warm drinks
  • Simplifying life
  • Switching off screens
  • Embrace nature and Get outdoors
  • Bring a little of nature indoors
  • Read, Draw, Paint, Craft
  • Embrace & Celebrate your Faith
Just reading that list helps my mind to relax, does it for you?  Seriously, look at how many times the word COZY is used!  I may not live in a place that has long, dark, snowy winters, but I've found plenty of things on this list to embrace and incorporate into my home and life.

Since it's still "winter" here in Texas (okay, stop laughing! We do have colder days, sometimes....) Ed and I have been enjoying many of our evenings by candlelight.  This not only gives an atmosphere of peace and calmness, it's also very romantic!  Now, I'm sure we're not really saving a lot of money by keeping the lights off, because I'm now obsessed with candles!  Like I said yesterday on Facebook, I think I'd better learn how to make my own candles, because I'm always on the hunt for the best, longest burning, best smelling candles.


Warm drinks and a roaring fire can be enjoyed in different seasons, so don't think that hot chocolate and logs in the fireplace are just for a cold December night. Hygge is not just practiced in the wintertime!  Picture a summer night, friends gathered around the backyard fire pit, laughing and enjoying each other's company without a TV or cell phone in sight! Well, maybe if you are using your camera phone to capture a S'mores moment like I did last summer.  Here's my precious mother-in-love, getting her marshmallow the perfect shade of burnt! (She went to be with Jesus in January, so these kind of memories with her and our family, are so precious to remember now!)


Snuggling together on a lazy Saturday morning can be enjoyed in October as much as in January.  Grab the kiddos for some whispered plans of "what we'll do later today after we cuddle", for instance: a family hike!  Even if you only stay in your own neighborhood, there are things that happen when you get everyone outdoors: neighbors mowing their lawns or raking leaves will smile & wave; you'll hear the birds singing and squirrels chattering, and the breeze blowing through the trees. All those things you'd be missing from the inside of an air-conditioned SUV.
There goes Big Sister and Little Brother on a new adventure, right in their own backyard! Photo: © SLH


Here's a great summer Hygge idea! Dip your toes in the water together!  Don't have a lake nearby? Well, grab the kiddie pool and fill it up. Taking time to be together is part of what Hygge is about.  These two beauties are "The K2s": our daughter Katie & her daughter Ky at Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.


Cookie-baking day, anyone? Here are all five of our grandchildren at Christmastime, having a blast making cookies with the mommies and Grandma Juju! It might  not be "relaxing", but it was a fun first time for all the cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents to be together, and we all enjoyed eating the yummy fresh cookies, too.  Warms the heart, don't you agree?

How about an evening playing board games or cards?  You might think about making game night a "screen-free zone", by putting everyone's cell phone & other devices into a bowl or box, and put it out of ear-shot.  Enjoy each other's company, talk, laugh, and play with no distractions.  Put family game night on the calendar once or twice a month and make sure you make that time as important as any other appointment in the month!

Do you live in or near a city with a zoo?  Why not buy a family season pass and enjoy an afternoon seeing a few of your favorites, like the giraffes!  You can spend as much or as little time as you want, because you can re-visit another time to see other favorites. If the kids are feeling tired, you can feel free to leave, and return another day. Our son and his family have had lots of fun doing just that!  Last May, Ed & I joined them, and everyone took turns feeding the giraffes! Look how our littlest granddaughter was sizing up that friendly giraffe, while her big brother waited his turn very patiently. 


Just remember to keep the focus on being together as a couple or family, or with friends.  "Be where you are" is a good phrase to keep in mind. It's not about planning something detailed and extravagant or expensive; it IS about being grateful to be together, and stepping into an atmosphere that's peaceful, calming, mindful and cozy.  Oh, and if you hear or read that Hygge is "going out of style" or "sooo last year", don't believe it. It's been trending in Scandinavia for centuries!

To learn much more about Hygge, you might find my Pinterest Board, Make Life Peaceful - Hygge helpful. 
You can almost always find me over on Facebook and Instagram, too!



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