Discovering a word that describes exactly what you’ve been feeling is so exciting. Reflecting on this holiday break, no description seems quite right. My overused, default, favorite adjective-cozy-is close, but just not it. Cozy doesn’t quiet encapsulate the warmth of a gorgeous paella lunch on a Sunday afternoon with special people.
Last night, flipping through a magazine before I fell asleep, I stumbled on this article. I relate to the author on many levels-I remember the Vermont Country Store catalog and definitely played games like mice (and can still picture the imaginary world of Mrs. Frisbee and the Rats
of NIMH). However, her explanation of the word hygge struck a cord.
It’s the perfect word to describe the sentiment of being home for the holidays. A Danish word with no clear translation, it’s described as: “the art of creating intimacy: a sense of comradeship, conviviality, and contentment rolled into one.” As noted here, it is often inaccurately described as coziness. While coziness describes physical surroundings-a sweater, a warm bed-hygge has more to do with people’s behavior to each other.
A hyggelig time is described as “social nirvana,” for Danes, and often involves candles, family, friends, food and drinking.
This was a special Christmas, and I’m very thankful for this hyggelig time.