A few weeks ago, I came across a term that instantly resonated with and fascinated me.
Hygge, pronounced Hoo•gah, is a bit of a millenial and Pinterest buzzword which has been misused and abused for the sake of marketing and Insta-likes.
Not one for dismissing things merely because they’re trending, I poured over articles which tried to explain the concept, many of them missing the point in its entirety.
Bad explanations aside, the concept clicked for me - a moment when one feels utter comfort and intimacy. Safety. Peace. The feeling of home.
I went and made plant clippings and decorated my room. I bought marshmallows and hot chocolate. I volunteered to bake this year’s Thanksgiving turkey (recipe coming soon). I lengthened the amount of time I spent enjoying my pillows and blankets in the mornings.
But tonight, there was a moment which defined hygge even more completely for me.
My aunt and uncle were decorating my grandmother‘s Christmas tree, and I was asked to make hot chocolate.
Now, hot chocolate, to me, has always been both art and science; I don’t do water. I don’t use a microwave (anymore).
And I always use high quality chocolate and as many marshmallows as will fit in the mug.
He hadn’t taken more than a sip when my uncle started grilling me about what on earth I did to the hot chocolate.
After I explained my process, he sat down in a chair, and I was taken aback when his eyes filled with tears.
He said he had tried so many times to replicate the way his mom made hot chocolate and had never been able to get it quite right.
And my uncle, who never sits and enjoys when there is work to be done, sat and finished that mug of hot chocolate, delighting in the taste and the memories.
To me, that is hygge (although my Scandinavian friends are welcome to correct me). An invitation to stop, to sit, and to simply enjoy being...even with something as simple as hot chocolate.