Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Today's Word is... Hygge! by Christine DePetrillo


Have you heard of this? It’s a Danish concept and pronounced hoo-guh. As says, “While there’s no one English word to describe hygge, several can be used interchangeably to describe the idea of hygge such as cosiness, charm, happiness, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, kinship, and simpleness.” And if you think you shouldn’t listen to the Danes, you’re wrong, wrong, wrong. The Danes are repeatedly referred to as the happiest people in the world.

We like happy, don’t we? Of course we do.

When you think of sitting by a roaring fire on a snowy night, a mug of your favorite hot beverage in hand, and a brand new book to dive into, that’s hygge. Thick, cable-knit sweaters, cabin socks, candles in fragrances like maple nut dream and pumpkin pie surprise. Flannel sheets! Oh, God. Let’s not forget the flannel sheets. Natural home décor like pinecones, birch sticks, evergreen boughs. Hanging with friends and just shooting the shit. Finding joy in the simple pleasures. All of this is hygge.  

You get the idea.

I feel like this word was made for the type of romance I write. Settings in the woods of New England where the forest is as much a character as the people are. Folks who are deeply connected to their families. Friendships that won’t quit. Charming men who know how to warm things up on a cold night. Maple syrup and cookies and rum. Stories that make you all tingly inside and push bad moods in the corner where they belong. Local taverns where people are considered regulars, flirting is always welcome (and none of that “how you doin’” crap), and the drinks never make you so drunk that you can’t see the happily ever after that’s headed your way.

These are my books. This is hygge on the page. Even my newer series set in 2025 has moments of hygge in it. Amidst trouble on a global level, there is still sanctuary to be found in the woods, still blossoming love, still hope.

So if you’re on a mission to make 2017 a cozier, more intimate, more positive experience, turn to romance novels and hygge, baby. Make simple rituals out of the mundane. Appreciate nature. Make apple pie and eat it hot right out of the oven with two (yeah, I said TWO) scoops of Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream. Live life as if happy is the only emotion you’ll accept.

What will you do to hygge it up this year?      

Wishing you all an outstanding 2017!


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Leah St. James said...

What a cool concept! When you described the scene sitting before a fire, new book in hand, etc., the word that came to my mind was contentment. And yes, I need more of that in my life! Thanks for the reminder, and for the new word to add to my stash. :-)

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Oh, I do love a new word. Thanks for explaining it so well. What a neat post.

Margo Hoornstra said...

That is a great concept. Leah's right. Pure contentment. Thanks for my newest best word.

Rolynn Anderson said...

I'm one-quarter Dane (1/4 Swedish and 1/2 Norwegian). I think the Scandinavians are hygge-centered. Even my Norwegian relatives have little cabins in the mountains, done in knotty pine throughout and as cute and warm as all get-out. Always: Cozy atmosphere, flowers in vases, comfortable chairs you can lay back on, a fire going in the fireplace, sweet treats, really good hot coffee. Even when we choose VRBO's to stay in a month at a time, we look for these comfy elements. When we travel in the U.S. by car, I take an espresso machine and collapsible vases. You've captured Hygge correctly, Chris. All elements of a natural sanctuary...much needed these days.

Jannine Gallant said...

I could use a little hygge. Survived a trip over the summit in a blizzard to take my kid back to college. Return trip tomorrow, and the weather isn't expected to improve much. See...I need hygee in a big way!

Christine DePetrillo said...

Happy Hygging to you all! LOL.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I am officially all warm and fuzzy.

Diane Burton said...

Love that new word. Thanks for telling us how to pronounce it and what it means. Since it's still snowing and 10 degrees out, hot chocolate and a new book sounds about right. Happy 2017 to all.

Alicia Dean said...

What a fun word! And, your description of hygge sounds perfect to me!