What’s your happy place?
Hygge is a Scandinavian word currently sweeping through the hospitality industry. The traditional Danish concept of hygge (pronounced HOO-gah) describes a feeling of peace and happiness, celebrating life’s simplicity. Typically, hygge refers to creating good cheer and laughter during the long winters in Scandinavia, describing how the people find comfort and contentment during this bleak period of the year by getting together with friends, enjoying a cup of coffee, lighting candles, and sharing a meal. In a nut shell, warmth, candles, food, drink, family, and friendship are the essence of hygge all year long.
Growing up in Norwegian culture, I’m eager to share my personal perspective on the concept of hygge.
Life is busy, full of details and hygge has always been essential for my well-being, my balance in life. Clearly, we all need a sense of well-being and it may be most important during the long winter months. To understand hygge is to understand what makes us happy, what makes us content, what allows us to overcome stress at any time of the year.
I grew up in an environment that taught the meaning and feeling of hygge without ever putting a name to it. I crave intimate relationships with family and friends. I am passionate and protective of the time we spend together. The anticipation of and preparation for this stimulates me deeply all year long.
The joke in Bergen, Norway, is that it rains 364 days a year. One of my fondest memories is of my mother and me dashing through the streets of Bergen, raincoat on and umbrella in hand. Our destination: Reimars Konditori, the best hot chocolate and napoleons in the world! Priceless conversation!
I have always loved the ocean and will always be drawn to the shore as I am drawn now to Lake Dunmore, my special hygge place. Waking each morning to the ever-changing sounds of nature, dawdling on the porch with coffee in hand, and never tiring of the brilliance Mt. Moosalamoo radiates. My wood stove runs from late fall to early spring providing me with a humungous bear hug each time I enter the room.
Come with no expectations; do come with your personal basket of ‘hygge’ that will allow you to create your happy place. Let everything else take its course.
I invite you to share this amazing spot with your family and friends.
Kom og ‘hygge’ i alle årstider
(Come and enjoy all the seasons)