I was recently introduced to the Danish word hygge, and it instantly struck a chord with me.
Yes! That's just what I feel at this time of year, and it is why I love winter in places where it gets cold cold cold in December and January.
Hygge is pronounced sort of like hhooo-guh. You can click on this link to hear Danes describe it in their own words.
Hygge is being at home, warm and cozy in the deep of winter. It is snuggling in, with pastimes and foods that are warm and comforting, or sweet and familiar.
I was born in Minnesota, went to college in central Maine, have lived most of my life in upstate New York. I am a northern gal to the core. I have always loved this time of year, but until I learned about hygge, I never had a word to explain how I felt.
Hygge for me is warm, seasoned soups for supper, with homemade bread; baking my mother's 1937 recipe for sugar cookies with my niece; knitting beside the fireplace. It is being quiet, deep in my own thoughts, both looking back and looking forward.
It is a calm pause between the busier seasons.
It is ... contentment.
Thanks to Denmark, I finally have a word for all of that.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year, with hygge enough to last you until spring.