December 21: Jule Hygge
Today, I wanted to write a post about a concept that Danes not only use during Christmas, but all year round. This is "hygge". "Hygge" most accurately as possible translated means cozy. But really, that does not do it complete justice. Hygge is all about being with family or friends, snuggling up on the couch, and enjoying each others company. But then again its not just snuggling up on the couch. It's decorating the Christmas tree, baking cookies, walking through the sparkling lights of New York City. All of these, and so much more, are all a part of hygge.
"Hyggeligt" is the word you can use to describe such events, where as "hygge" is the concept in general. Spending time with family is "hyggeligt", a slow burning kalenderlyse is "hyggeligt", simply wearing your Christmas PJ's and drinking hot coco is "hyggeligt".
December for Danes is all about hygge. I think this word is used more during the month of December than during any other month. It's just this great idea that can be used to get everyone through these cold, dark days in the happiest and coziest way possible. Each families hygge is individual and different in their own special way, this seems to be a very consistent aspect of the holiday traditions. While many things may be similar, everything is also so different in many different, magical ways.
One of my families important hygge traditions, when we are all gathered together in our holiday home for the holidays, is building our Christmas Lego city either while we are watching a movie or just listening to Christmas music. Now I would like to say that we all sit on the floor together and build as a family but for the past two years it's just been me. Surprised, that it's me that's building the lego city? Yeah, I guess that is a little surprising considering it's the main and sometimes only time of year that I actually do. But it's incredibly fun and it's another tradition that allows you to feel like a little kid again. Whether we are building together or only one of us, we are all collected together. Which really, in the end of it all, is all that matters. That you are together with those that you love and hold dear. Maybe you can't be together with your entire family but lucky for us we live in a world where it is incredibly easy to stay in touch. Whether it's through Skype, FaceTime or just simple phone calls. It all counts and it all allows us to be just a little bit closer to each other during this holiday season.
So once you've finished reading this and maybe a couple of other posts (if you're a little behind on your julekalender), go spend some time with your family. Whether it's making dinner together, watching a movie or maybe going on a little walk through the lit December streets. Cherish every holiday you spend together because the truth of it all is that you never know how many you'll be able to spend all together, especially with kids growing up and moving out, family moving, work getting in the way, whatever the reason may be. Even though these little moments may not mean a lot to you now, they mean a whole lot to your parents. But most importantly, these memories that you will create are guaranteed to mean the world to you once you are older. That's something I can promise you.
Happy December 21 and Merry Christmas... ONLY THREE DAYS LEFT!
With love, Camille