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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
If you've ever put on fuzzy socks, curled up on the couch and watched a movie or the dancing flames in a fireplace, you have experienced 'hygge.”
Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a Scandinavian word to describe a feeling of coziness or well-being.
You can feel hygge anywhere or doing anything - because we all experience comfort and well-being in different settings and with different people - but hygge is most often talked about in the winter.
Maybe that's because summer is more of an 'outward” season, where we focus on doing things like swimming, boating, playing baseball and lighting sparklers.
Winter is a quieter season when animals, including humans, spend more time in our homes.
The word hygge comes from a Norwegian word, 'hugga,” which means 'to comfort” or 'to console,” according to the New Yorker magazine. If this makes you think of the English word 'hug,” you're on the right track!
And just as English words have different forms (hug, hugged, hugging), hygge is the same.
The New Yorker described a passage from a 1957 article, 'Letters from Copenhagen,” in which writer Robert Shaplen said the city's 'sidewalks are filled with smiling, hyggelige people.” In that case, 'hyggelige” is an adjective describing warm, friendly people.
But enough of the English lesson. It's winter break!
As you take some time off from school and spend more time at home, think about the hygge in your life. After all, part of hygge is slowing down to notice and appreciate coziness or comfort, rather than rushing on to the next thing.
Maybe hygge for you will be having a cup of cocoa after sledding, FaceTiming with your grandparents or lying under an electric blanket while you play Adopt Me! or another online game. The holidays might be different this year, but there still is comfort, or hygge, at home.