Hygge is a Danish word that is having a moment outside of Denmark. There is no direct English translation for hygge (pronounced hoo-gah or hue-guh depending on which website you believe), but it implies a sense of comfort, coziness, and contentedness. As such, hygge is not something you do; it’s more a feeling of comfort and relaxation, an enjoyment of the moment. Hygge can happen alone or with others, inside or out, home or away. But there are things you can do to promote that hygge feeling.
The cold, dark days of winter tend to lend themselves to a hygge way of life. Think cozy sweaters, snuggly blankets, the scent of something sweet baking in the oven, a cup of something warm: tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and a good book on a snowy afternoon. With a hygge outlook winter and staying home is not something to dread, but a chance to enjoy the cozy and the comfortable.
Savor the hygge in your life. Snuggle under a blanket for a family read-a-loud or watch a favorite movie together. Some great family read-a-louds are The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, The Borrowers by Mary Norton, and Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry.
This is the time of year to bring out the old Rankin/Bass holiday classics like Frosty the Snowman or Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town . The library has plenty of DVDs to choose from, or you can stream movies via Hoopla or Kanopy. It is the perfect time to get out the cookie cutters to bake and decorate some cookies. It is the perfect time to work on a jigsaw puzzle or play a game with the family. Favorites in our house are Apples to Apples and Uno. How about learning a new craft? Knitting, crocheting, or candlemaking are perfect hygge crafts. I’ve picked up crocheting again after a long absence and have been practicing my technique with simple projects like dishcloths.
Enjoying time together is a hallmark of hygge, as is the contentedness of watching the snow fall while snuggling under a blanket with a warm beverage and a good book.
Here are some book suggestions to start you on your hygge journey:
Don’t forget to come in and stock up on all your hygge-inducing books and movies by December 23, as the library will be closed from December 24 through January 3. Our online digital library is always available, even when the library is closed.