Since I missed out on 16 years of snow and ice and wind chills and these lovely freezing temperatures when I was a kid growing up out west, I like to think I’m making up for it now. I’m not a fan of the cold temps at all… but give me a nice, deep snow and I’m happy!
My kids, on the other hand, are born and bred Missourians. The cold doesn’t faze them a bit. (A line from a certain Frozen song comes to mind!)
Not having experienced growing up during those seasons of cold has left me, as a parent, in a little bit of a bind though! What does one do with three cabin-feverish kids all day when it’s really too cold even to bundle up and play? Board Games only last so long before they become Bored Games, and that’s inevitably when the bickering begins.
Just before Christmas, I read an article about a concept that fascinated me. You may have heard of it. It’s a Danish word. Hygge. Don’t quote me on this, but I think it’s pronounced “Hoo-ga.” (At least, that’s how I’m pronouncing it!) Basically, it refers to a concept that the Danes have of intentionally seeking out life’s little pleasures during the coldest months of the year… being surrounded with friends, family, and food, in that order. But it’s more than that. It’s a sense of peace. Of thankfulness. Of recognizing the good in life.
What a neat concept! It’s so easy to get caught in the winter doldrums. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could add some Hygge to our own lives? The hecticness of the holidays has passed. The decorations are down and my world looks pretty bare. Intentionally interjecting some Hygge time seems like just the thing.
Now, I’ve mentioned before that I’m a pretty extreme introvert, but that’s something I’m working on. I had a friend send me a text out of the blue this afternoon to meet her and her kiddos at the library. For an introvert like me, I appreciated her going out of her way to invite us, so very much! We had a great time, just reconnecting over a kid-sized table in the children’s section while all the kiddos caught up and picked out books. It was probably a small gesture to her, but it reminded me… Hygge is hospitality too. Going out of your way to check on a friend. Dropping a line to someone you haven’t talked to in awhile. Inviting them to meet.
Hygge is sharing warmth. Being restful. Sharing the load. Meeting at a friend’s house, letting the kids play while you relax. Overlooking messes and not worrying about agendas or piles of laundry or dishes… instead, it’s just being there for each another. Pop some popcorn, make some hot chocolate. (Don’t forget the marshmallows!) But most of all, be authentic. That’s Hygge.
How do you interject Hygge into your home life? Do you have a secret to keep the kidlets busy at home during those long cold months? Is there a friend you haven’t connected with in awhile you can share this idea with? Let me know, I’d love to hear about it!
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