In her book ”How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life” author Signe Johansen not only explains this way of life, but also gives simple ideas on how to possibly have a better life. It also contains some recipes to help you achieve easy, realistic, and relaxed entertaining.
Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish word that translates as a feeling of coziness. It’s about kinship, mindfulness, being sociable, finding solace in nature, taking pleasure in outdoor activities and in simple things, and paring down items to basics so that you have more time for the important things in life.
Most importantly, it is also about everyday acts of kindness - both to yourself and to others.
Signe says that in Copenhagen that there are candles everywhere and maybe it’s just that they have so much dark and cold weather. However the candles are not just for night, they are there all day adding a bit of cozy comfort to your morning cup of coffee or soup at lunch. It’s a delight in life, and the love of snuggling up in the corner of your sofa.
They also feel that small adventures outdoors are far more preferable to hours spent in a gym.
I love to entertain at home. I enjoy waiting on people, but I also have our home set-up so that others feel comfortable in doing things for themselves too. Some of the best dinners have been a cheese tray with a glass of wine. Simplicity at it's best, or lightly grilled veggies along with marinated salmon. My grandmother used to say that coffee always tasted so much better when poured by someone else - now I get what that means. It’s the simple act of someone caring for you.
I also like a warm throw or a lighter one depending on the season ready on the chair for a quick nap, or to read a book, or to watch a favorite tv show; fluffy pillows; many candles with various scents; lots of coffee table books that can easily be picked up and stir someone’s imagination or creativity; and a well-stocked bar area with easy access for guests too.
It wasn’t until we bought this home and I helped with the landscape layout that I truly learned to enjoy spending time outside. I think that we have a beautiful yard. It provides both sun and shade; perennial and annual plants and flowers; two outdoor seating areas (one has a fireplace). We have lights strung above the backyard too. It is magical and so relaxing. It provides a place for lively conversation and also a place to just plop down after a hard day at work.
If you are interested in Hygge too, I would recommend her book since this area of the world has been rated number one on so many quality of life studies.
They really have figured it out, and so can you!