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HYGGE: THE FINE ART OF HUMAN HIBERNATION

Hailing from Copenhagen, this is my very first blogpost focusing on the happenings over here! Can I get a hell yes?! OK OK, so tis the season for HYGGE + HIBERNATING. This word has been all the rage, and you’ve probably heard someone utter the horn-like word even if you can’t quite pronounce it. It’s cool, Danish is NOT an easy language….For the hygge trainees, it’s kind of a feeling, an overall sense of cozy that we get when we hunker down to read a book by the fire, snuggled in our favorite blanket and comfies…or having long dinners by candlelight + gut laughter with friends and loved ones…or reading books with your kids…maybe face-timing with your grand-kids…whatever gives you the “everything’s all right in the world” kind of feeling.

Well, here in Copenhagen, HYGGE is alive and REAL as the days are short + the nights are long + dark. Winter hygge is essentially all about human hibernation + a means of surviving the blustery cold, wet + windy weather. A mostly graceful *sometimes not-so-graceful cabin-fevery meltdown* leaning into the darkness…a time to embrace being indoors, recharge our soul batteries + refresh our connections to home…
Before living here, cozy was my favorite word + I’ve gotta say, I was pretty damn good at it in Portland…fireplace going – check! Tea candles lit – check! Blanket burrito, jazz record playing, my hubby cooking a Spanish stew on Sunday afternoon – check, check, check! I can honestly tell you after moving to Denmark, I have never gone through so many boxes of candles so quickly in my life! For around 3 months, we’re living with around 6 hours of daylight at best!
Our personal brand of hygge here means a daily Happy Hour consisting of – you guessed it – 1. candles…on the dining table, the sideboard, the kitchen island, the coffee table, near our Christmas tree + in both bathrooms. 2. Music. Whether it’s Spotify Coffee Table Jazz, 70’s Road Trip or Nina Simone Radio… 3. Small bites + a lot of “cheers”, “skåls” and “chin-chin!” and our favorite part 4. Conversation. Uninterrupted story-telling about our days, how things went, what we’re gonna have for dinner, + usually some shocking fact about the Danes that we’ve already learned through trial by fire, but still can’t seem to get over. Regardless of our initial culture shock and some things that are way harder than we could’ve imagined, the way the Danes do HYGGE suits us + helps me feel right at home.
Apart from every. single. weekday. the holidays are especially a time for a lot of togetherness – be it loud brunches out at local tiny restaurants with haughty shouts, hysterical laughs and scenes similar to an episode of Vikings, or be it slow home-cooked 5-course meals sipping wine, moooore wine, then maybe a Port and a finger of whiskey with dessert. Sound familiar?! Sound good to you?! US TOO!
So while we’re over here making blanket forts on the couch, counting down the days until our tropical vacation, I hope you’re enjoying some snuggle time + celebrating with your peops in your own style. Stoke the fire, light those candles + GET YOUR HYGGE ON! Cheers, skål + chin-chin!
P.S. Gorgeous photos courtesy of @realnicewinemakers @calebvandermeer @skagerak_denmark