If I’m being all hipster over here, I’d like to point out that I heard of “hygge” a long time ago, pinning it to one of my Pinterest boards without too much thought.
But then, this past weekend as I sat in an airport waiting, scrolling through Pinterest, it seemed like hygge was everywhere. It’s not just “that Danish word” anymore – people are actually pinning “Hygge Habits” and “Hygge Challenges” and “Hygge Lifestyles” – and when I read them, I smiled in delight, because I realized all of it is me. I just didn’t know there was a name for what I love so much in life. I thought it was simply the way I lived.
Well, it seems that other people are craving a bit more of that kind of life, too. And I think it’s lovely.
There are multiple ways I’ve seen to pronounce it (“hoo-ga” or “hue-ga”) and multiple definitions of it. One of my favorites is: “There is no one English word to describe hygge. It’s a mixture of coziness, charm, security, familiarity, comfort, kinship, simplicity, and cozy contentment.”
But I also love, “The art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive.”
I started dreaming about creating this type of home when I was 22, before I had even moved out of my parents’ house. It was my goal to build an atmosphere of welcome, closeness, and warmth in whatever home I lived in, and to make it a place where people felt relief from the rest of the busy world.
And what do you know? I’m not the only one who’s longed for that kind of home. The Danish get me. We’re kindred spirits.
I smiled over the “Hygge Challenges” I pinned on Pinterest because they’re not really challenges if you practice them all the time.
I already light the candles during my morning quiet time and turn on the white lights in the evening. I already have screen-free evenings on weeknights, curled up in my coziest blanket with a steaming cup of tea at my side. I already love having friends and family over to sit on the couch and laugh and talk till late.
All of these things are integral to the core of me, but I love the reminder to not take them for granted. For me, they aren’t ritualistic or a feeling to be worshipped – they are gifts from God to remind me to thank Him for every small pleasure. They are opportunities to savor the moments He’s given me and find peace in the way He has sovereignly arranged my life. And they are a way for me to share life with others in meaningful, soul-connecting ways.
The world might try to use the “hygge” pop fad as a means to finding their ultimate happiness. However, while candles, blankets, tea, and long walks in crisp air bring me great joy, I know that they can’t ultimately satisfy me. They can’t rescue my soul or give me promise for the future. Only Jesus can do that.
But the sweetness of God’s gifts in life are certainly meant to be cherished and to cause our hearts to worship Him more – and if there’s a name for that, then I rather enjoy knowing it fits me so well.
So if you need a little more cozy in your life, then why don’t you come over to my little cottage and we’ll share a hygge moment with some tea and cookies. It would be a blessed relief from the busy, the stressful, the chaotic, and the anxious that often fills our days. Let’s learn to find that slow rhythm of life that has almost been forgotten, and savor the richness that comes in the ordinary every day.
Because God’s ordinary hygge is pretty spectacular.
Image from Pinterest.