Hygge for the Holidays


‘Making a list, and checking it twice’

Okay. Confession Time. First, the idea for this post, which is to make a list of Blessings, comes from a Blogger Who Has Many Many Followers. (Which is kind of a blessing right there, wouldn’t you say, Susie?)

Susie mentioned she had ‘Hygge’ in mind when she made her own list. I would define “Hygge’ for you, but (Second Big Confession Coming Up), I had absolutely no idea what ‘hygge’ meant until I googled it and found an article titled, aptly, ‘What the Hell is Hygge?’

The Child and The Cat getting their ‘hygge’ on

Turns out that ‘hygge’ is a Danish Lifestyle Thing meaning, sort of, ‘coziness’. But more than candle glow and firelight and reindeer sweaters, the article says ‘hygge’ has more to do with our behavior towards each other. “It is the art of creating intimacy: a sense of comradeship, conviviality, and contentment.”

Ah, speaking of ‘hygge’: Christmas at my Favorite Sister’s house, many moons ago

Well. I can get down with that, even though I am not a Dane but (mostly) a Swede. We Swedes, bless us every one, have our own thing called ‘lagom’, which, apparently, is the ‘new hygge’. (Gosh, just when I found out what the old hygge was!) Yes, I had to look up ‘lagom’ too. (Which auto-corrects to ‘lagoon’, BTW.)

Pretty Swedes all in a Christmas Row. Lagom är bäst (!)

Lagom,” says The Guardian, “although always positive, is almost the opposite” of ‘hygge’. “It’s about … focusing on what is absolutely essential, knowing when to stop.” There’s even a Swedish phrase that sums it all up: ‘enough is as good as a feast’.

Hmmmm. Is a bowl of ornaments (instead of a treefull) ‘enough’?

But. Back to those Blessings. As you can see, I’ve been cleverly ‘making my list’ as I’ve been droning along defining Scandinavian comfort terms. Which I am done doing. And, instead of ‘checking it twice’, let’s get on with the rest of my list — which I will present in the holiday spirit of good ole Swedish ‘lagom’. Which means, I promise, that I will know when to stop.

Here’s to The Child. Who stuck around just long enough to grow up and very wisely knew when it was time to leave

Here’s to my friends, who send me Christmas Cards with cute pix of their kids, even though I’d had enough with sending my own cards by the time The Child grew up and left

Here’s to the Rockettes. Who gave us a fabulous show that One Time we went to see it. Which, trust me, was ‘enough’

Here’s to The Dude. Who knew when it was time to stop going out on New Year’s Eve

Here’s to my Dad. Of him, I could never get enough, bless him

And, of course, here’s to the Best Mom on the Planet Earth. (See photo of her channeling her Inner Reindeer at the top of this post.) She is, bless her and everyone who knows her, still with us. And no, even though she is most definitely 100% Grade A Swedish through and through, she most definitely does not know when to stop.

Merry Christmas, and to all a Happy Tuesday.

New York City. December 2017


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30 thoughts on “Hygge for the Holidays

  1. I had to look up hygge the first time I heard of it, too, and I love what a good reminder it is. I love that pictures of our family and I hope to be having my own hygge/lagom moments this weekend!

  2. I LOVE your list and that it took a Hygge twist!! Your photos are fantastic. Your dad cracked me up!

    I’m all about Hygge, but I’m at breakneck speed and actually have to go back out shopping tonight. I’m hoping to catch my breath tomorrow before everyone flies in.

    Sorry I didn’t see this. I’ll add it now. The pingback didn’t work because it included “comments/page1.” If it’s not one thing… It’s up now!!

    Merry Christmas!

    • Hi Claire! Thank you for reading, and for weighing in. I have to admit that I had No Idea what hygge was (!) so considered finding out somewhat of a challenge. Also, since I am (mostly) Swedish, I felt it my obligation, heritage-wise, to find out what the heck all that Scandi Stuff was about! I can hardly wait to read your list! Have a wonderful Christmas! xoxoxo

  3. You know, I lived in Sweden for six months and I loved the idea of Logom. And I TOTALLY forgot about it until you connected hygge to it. It’s sort of a balance in all things–or at least that’s how I interpreted it. I’m not sure hygge and logon are in conflict, more that they have a complicated relationship. Because balance when I’m standing on a trampoline is very different from when I’m standing on the street, finding when to stop when it comes to sourrounding myself with comfort will be different depending on how I’m “standing” in my life at that moment.
    Or at least- that’s how I’m marrying the two. Either way, I love your blessings list. The Child picture is my favorite.

    • What a great comment! I’ve never even been to Sweden, so had to resort to articles found on the internet for my ‘takes’ on both hygge and logom. Your analogy of ‘balance’, using the trampoline and the street makes perfect sense. Oh, and before I forget — thanks also for the nice words about the pictures. I do enjoy searching for them each week when I write a new post. And the ones featuring The Child (or my Mom) are my favorites too. xoxoxo

  4. Deborah

    This is a lovely post. I’m so glad I found your blog, I’ve been enjoying it for a few months now.

    Off topic, but I recently read a book that made me think of you, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney. It’s about an ad woman who lives in NYC. It’s very charming and funny too. If you haven’t already read it, I think you’d like it.

    • My goodness, Deborah. I don’t know how to thank you. (But that doesn’t mean I won’t try!) Let’s just say your comment came at a very timely moment. Last year about this time I was thinking of giving up writing my blog — I don’t have that many readers, and I really do care about what I say and how I say it; old Ad Writers never die, I guess. Your comment gave me just the kick in the pants I need to keep on going. And thank you for the book reco — I will definitely check it out. Merry Christmas to you and yours. And thank you from the bottom of my Little Lutheran Heart.

  5. Ruth Meisenheimer

    Alice, your Mom and I had so many memorable, fun times ‘never knowing when to stop’! Glad we’re still here to remember and laugh about them! Love and Merry Christmas to you and all your family.

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