Picture this: it’s a dark wintry evening. Outside, the wind is blowing and the rain is pattering against the windows. But inside is warm and cosy, with soft lights (there are probably candles) and hot chocolate. You might be wrapped up on the sofa or tucked up in bed, reading a good book. That safe and contented feeling you have? That’s the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced hoogah).
Hygge is my new obsession – I am determined my family will embrace it in 2017. I’m finding myself looking at cushion websites and I’ve bought about a million candles. I’ve ordered a new board game and a huge tub of hot chocolate. And I’m learning all about hygge from this book – The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking, who runs the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen (I know – who even knew that such a place was real?) and who knows all about hygge. In the book, Meik talks about what happiness is and why Danish people score so highly in happiness tests: in fact, he says they are the happiest country in the world. And of course, he explains what hygge actually means.
So I’ve invested in woolly socks and warm jumpers, in candles (seriously, lots of candles) and games, and I’ve explained to my family that one evening a week will be hygge night. That means no screens (unless we decide to snuggle up together to watch a film), good food (cake is apparently VERY important in hygge) and plenty of laughter (I hope). And we will spend a few moments thinking about how lucky we are to be able to do this, when so many people are facing difficult times, because being grateful for what you have is part of hygge too.
So what do you think – are you in? What would your perfect hygge evening be?