Winter Hygge

I just read the perfect word for the coziness of winter: *Hygge (pronouced “Hoo-Gah.”) From the Danish, Hygge means “a general mood of coziness.” For me, that just hits the spot of what winter in the Northeast means. When we go outside, we bundle up and slog through the snow and slush. But when we are inside where we are warm, safe and snuggly, we are truly in Hygge.

When we have to go somewhere when the weather is freezing and/or snowing or sleeting, we just sort of grin and bear it. We can’t stay indoors all winter; we have to gird up our freezing loins and face the cold and slush that is winter in New England. But the payoff once we get home is great: warm clothes, thick socks, heat (via fireplace or electricity), and possibly a mug of hot chocolate (with or without marshmallows). Then we can sit comfortably inside and thumb our noses at the snow and slush outside. That truly is Hygge.

The Crankee Yankee and I skied a lot when we were younger; both of us loved downhill skiing and racing. As the price of tickets grew astronomical, I took up cross-country skiing. Not only was it free, but it was fun and easy.

However, life and jobs and living in different states made skiing a thing of the past. I never took up skiing again once I moved back to New Hampshire, and, funnily enough, I found that I didn’t miss it. About the same sort of thing happened to the Crankee Yankee, too. But recently, he dug out his old skiis and took them to a sports store that not only sells skiis and poles, but revamps “older” skiis. He plans to start skiing again, especially because at his age he gets a much lower price to ski.

I was asked if I too wanted to start skiing again. But after two knee replacements that’s a non-starter for me. I’m really not interested, but I certainly will go with the Crankee Yankee when he wants to ski. He will go skiing, I will sit in the lodge sipping hot chocolate and reading a book. To each his own Hygge!

*Hygge: “A lifestyle culture adopted from Scandinavia, emphasizing comfort and contentment.”


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