What’s all the hype about Hygge?


I went on Amazon to order a new bathroom scale (please reserve judgement), the one we were using was a wedding gift, and let me just say every morning my weight was a total surprise. There was a high to low range of twenty pounds or so, which affected not only my mood, but my attitude. It seemed defeating so I ordered a new digital model that guaranteed a precise weight each and every time. Ten seconds after I received the standard thank you for your purchase announcement Weight Watchers ads started appearing on my social media accounts. What the hell? I popped over to Facebook and found Jenny Craig lounging in my side bar!

I of course googled, “Why the hell are ads related to my searches appearing in my news feed?” It’s actually an ad exchange started by Facebook in 2012. The platform allows advertisers to target users with highly relevant ads based on their browsing habits. Why am I always the last one to the table (so to speak)? I decided to mess around with Big Brother, so I googled “how to win a hot dog eating contest,” I figured it went along with the scale theme, and immediately noticed a new link to food delivery services (that could be coincidence because I’m using Blue Apron currently and maybe they don’t want to lose me to Oscar Mayer) but it raised a few suspicions about the ramifications of my random searches. I also received an email announcing a new Bay Area Overeaters Anonymous group. How do they keep one anonymous when you join a group? Anyhoo…

This of course forced me to google “most comfortable walking flats for women with fat feet.” I actually need a new pair of shoes, my feet have widened with age, yes things tend to do that, something to do with gravity, and mass. It’s clearly mathematical so let’s not over think the issue. When Rothy ads started appearing in my news feed, I checked them out, and I’ll admit I ordered a pair. I know, I’m toast. Rothy now emails me three times a day. #NewBFF

Then I got practical, I need (Larry uses the word want) some new throws for the lake house. Something soft, plush, comfortable to snuggle up with on those cold winter nights. Nordstrom’s had the best selection but the interesting thing was this word Hygge that kept appearing in my searches. What is all the hype about Hygge? Apparently this is so last year but I had no idea, I was busy last year, definitely not searching for plush throws on the internet. 

Hygge is a feeling word (which got me all excited because I’m all about feelings), used by the Danish to suggest a cozy moment. Are you kidding? It doesn’t have to be an extraordinary moment, it could be that first cup of coffee in the early morning, wrapped up in a sorely needed soft throw, maybe a good book in your lap, or better yet, reading a blog. You get the picture.

Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah), is not achieved by adopting a lifestyle or learning how to do it. It’s a feeling. Larry says it’s not a valid term, but he’s not a big fan of extemporaneous emotions or emojis, so clearly not to be trusted. “You can’t buy a ‘Hygge living room’ and there’s no ‘Hygge foods’ to eat,” says Alex Beauchamp. If someone wants you to buy Hygge they don’t understand the word or are using it for selfish purposes.

Benjamin Franklin was Hygge way before his time, “Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.” 

I so want to be a Hyggelist! Apparently it requires consciousness, the ability to not only live in the moment, but recognize it’s gifts. I think I was born to promote this so last year’s cultural trend. I’m always late to the party but no use crying over spilt milk. I was buying bell bottom jeans when straight legs came in style and listening exclusively to Jane Oliver when the Eagles were popular. Let’s just move on.

The english words used to describe Hygge are cosiness, charm, happiness, contentment, security, familiarity, kinship, or simpleness. How did I ever miss this trend? This is what Living in the Gap is all about. I should simplify my title to Living Hygge

I read that the Danes created Hygge because they were bored to death during the cold, dark, winters. Ritualizing simple moments like brewing real tea with cinnamon, serving it in a porcelain tea cup, lighting lavender candles, putting fresh roses about the house, wearing lumpy socks, and snuggling up in front of a roaring fire with popcorn drizzled with Irish butter is all part of the Hygge movement. I’m so in.  

Well just like Santa Clause, it quickly became a trend, and moved west last year. I always say better late than never. So I think I’ll just scale down my activities, wear flexible walking shoes, drape the couches with soft throws, and incorporate a little Hygge in my life. God only knows what ads that will be showing up on my social media accounts? I suppose it’s not about creating these moments, but taking time to breath them in, and simply enjoy.




Let’s enjoy a little Hygge in the comments. What was your favorite Hygge moment today?

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