Why We Need More Hygge in Home and Community
Hygge in the Winter: A Time to Gather Together
The holidays are over. Congratulations! You celebrated/survived another year packed full of ups and downs and sideways. Now is the time that we really get settled in for the winter—keyword here is settled. And I’ve found hygge to perfectly represent how to settle into a loving home and community.
I know it’s nice to just sit and recover from the previous months of travel, shopping, rushing, planning, and cleaning up glitter all over the house! But you know what I’ve noticed? The winter months of January and February can get pretty hard. Who wants to go out in that weather, in those short, dark days? It’s more attractive to stay inside by the fire or wrapped in a soft blanket.
But we can tend to isolate ourselves here, too.
It’s a tricky balance between quiet restoration and quiet loneliness.
Hygge shows us the difference between winter hibernation in isolation, or in loving company. Which do you think is more nourishing?
In my last blog, I introduced you to hygge and its universal appeal. Hygge homes are happy, healthy, and whole. I also shared ways you can create hygge in your own home.
Today, I want to borough down deep into the heart of hygge and why everyone loves it. Come cozy up with me for a bit and warm yourself in a soft candlelight glow and a hygge hug. Here it is…
Hygge originated in Norway as a term that spoke to well-being. The Danish swept it up in the 1800s and turned it into a lifestyle, and it’s been warming up the US over the last few years, especially. To remember it easily, hygge sounds like hug: think of the coziest, most welcoming and loving hug from your best friend—that’s hygge.
From what I’ve learned about hygge, if I put the deep heart of hygge into one word, that word would be together.
Hygge is a coziness. It’s a comfortable, warm, welcoming, loving, and happy place to enjoy life. While it’s totally fine to surround yourself in a hygge home by yourself, in the big picture you’ll see at its heart that it really comes down to togetherness. And I can’t help but believe that’s why it’s so universally attractive.
People need people. It’s just a fact. Today, it’s crazy easy to avoid human interaction. And I think we all see what happens to us when we lose touch with our humanness; especially when we lose touch with the humanness of others. Who doesn’t want to know they are loved for who they really are and liked for just being themselves?
People need genuine relationship with genuine people, and that is why hygge is genuinely needed in our homes.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve adopted over 30 addresses in my life. If you’ve ever moved to a new town, you know that it can take a while to create new friendships. It can take even longer to make genuine friendships. You know what I mean—the friendships where you can feel comfortable answering your door at 2 in the afternoon while you’re still in pajamas. Without makeup on.
I feel fairly comfortable when I say I know the difference between being alone and being lonely, and I know it’s a real thing to be lonely in a crowd. The togetherness I’m wanting us to really consider here isn’t that. It’s not just a gathering—it’s a joining. It’s a bonding and sharing and growing type of togetherness.
I stand firm in the idea that if we all did more of this hygge-type of gathering and less of the social media-type of gathering, if we saw each other eye to eye and listened to each other’s stories and heard each other’s hearts, this world would be beyond glorious.
But, we do live in this world, and it’s not a perfect place. We can’t make others do as we wish, we can’t even make ourselves always do as we wish! We can’t control the weather, the sun, moon or stars. And there are always going to be people that don’t want to hear what we have to say or believe what we want them to believe.
But—we can try to make it a better place. We can try, and we should try. We can make our own spaces into places of warmth; places of patience, kindness, smiles, and honesty. Claim your house as your home. Claim it as a place for loving…everyone. Claim it as a place for genuine relationships. Even the hard-to-love, difficult-to-deal-with, and heartbreaking-to-watch relationships. I mean, keep your homes safe, for goodness sake. Don’t let just anyone in.
But don’t keep everyone out, either.
Full disclosure, I include myself here. As much as I want my home to be open to everyone I meet, I rarely have people over. Mostly because don’t like to prepare food and my wonderful husband doesn’t think it’s right to not serve a guest wonderful food. And I can’t argue with him. Food is a pretty great way to bond.
But so is a cup of coffee. So is a cozy couch and great conversation. Still, I can come up with a million reasons why I don’t have people over. Even if my house seems small, my walls aren’t the color I’d like yet, or my counter is littered with paperwork.
I want to share something special with you.
When I was young, my grandma’s house was the center of everything family. It was itty-bity-tiny, but there was always enough room for everyone. Someone once made a comment to my aunt about how small a house it was. I’ll never forget her reply, “It might be a small house, but it’s a really big home”.
I do have a cozy couch. And cozy pillows on it. And cozy throws.
So, let’s kick our shoes off and chat over a cup of coffee (or tea) here. Let’s catch up with friends, old and new. Let’s invite that neighbor over for pizza and games. Let’s set our “self” aside and really lean into their life. What are they learning, feeling, seeing, fearing, enjoying? What are their hopes for this new year, and why?
In fact, let’s try something. Wherever you are sitting right now, look up. What do you see? Hear? Feel? What if it were more hygge? How can you make it so?
Here’s my invitation to you: Let’s create homes of togetherness like God intended. Get to know each other’s hearts and you’ll see how big and beautiful your home will be, no matter what size it is or what shape it’s in. Let’s make homes this kind of lovely, first and foremost.
If you want help adding welcoming, cozy hygge design to your home and the togetherness it can create, send me a message. We’ll meet for a warm cup of coffee and conversation shared between screens and plan your dream home together.