Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish concept that has become all the rage in the U.S. in the last year.
According to The New Yorker, the Danish define the word as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Some Danish doctors even recommend “tea and hygge” as a cure for the common cold.
Many blogs and recent books have taken up the craze. One author, Louisa Thomsen Brits, describes Hygge as, “a practical way of creating sanctuary in the middle of very real life … a cure for SAD in book form.”
Minnesotans are all-too familiar with seasonal affective disorder (or SAD) which seems to hit us harder towards the end of winter. Hygge is often imagined as a combatant to a raging snowstorm; a way to hunker down indoors with your loved ones, cozy, dry, and comfortable while the weather whips and whirls outdoors. As we begin to drift from the frigid months of January and February to the chilly-wet month of March, keep in mind that the idea of Hygge can be used to combat sloppy spring days as well.


Gather These Items:
  • Candles
  • Cozy blankets
  • A few good books
  • Fuzzy slippers
  • Hot drinks and pastries
  • Big scarves
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Friends and loved ones
Hyggehouse.com defines Hygge as a feeling, not a task. A moment that is “cozy, charming, or special.” It’s about creating an atmosphere that is intimate and comfortable and sharing it with friends.
This is where many Americans misunderstand the concept. Celebrating the idea of Hygge doesn’t involve becoming a hermit and never leaving the house. Scandinavians put tremendus value on staying active all year round. The winters of the famously frigid area teach that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. Hygge is not binge-watching Netflix in your favorite slippers. It’s not staying indoors all day in your pajamas. Although you can Hygge alone from time to time, it is meant to be shared with loved ones and celebrated as a way to stay connected even in the dreariest times of the season.
Celebrating Hygge means making your home more inviting and comfortable. Add a few cozy blankets or oversized pillows. Light a few candles. Invite some friends over to chat, enjoy a hot beverage, and relax. Hygge is a feeling of warmth and welcome more than an act. A few small changes to your living space may help you get into the idea, but executing it is all up to you.
To help make your home more Hygge-friendly, check ThriftWorks! in Waite Park for supplies; you never know what you’ll find!