With 17 books on Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) gracing our bookstores this winter, the chances that you'll get one for Christmas are fairly high. Absolutely everyone is at it; soon Dave Cam will be tweeting #hygge whilst he's #chillaxing at his country manor. So why all of a sudden have we become obsessed with Danish wellbeing? Perhaps because we have had such a totally rubbish year? or maybe we feel we need permission to take some down-time in our frenetic wi-fi dependent lives?
So what exactly is Hygge? After doing a bit of reading it seems that the clever Danes have sold us the concept of 'cosiness' and are now laughing their chic woollen slipper- socks off. Initially I was concerned that there would be an element of winter sportiness involved, but no, it seems to embrace Hygge is to remain slothsome under a blanket eating vast amounts of sugar for the rest of the winter months. (hip, hip, hoo-gah). Well not completely, there seems to be a collective element to Hygge suggesting that we put down the devices and come together for some wholesome family fun (nb: the Danes are particularly fond of singing....). This poses a number of challenges in my house given that a. Board games incite violence in the children, b. The big child refuses to listen to stories and c. They are both obsessed with the nasty FA premiership, yuk (all that polyester). The only common ground we seem to have is food, central to all good hyggers.
The Danes embrace the concept of very slow food (not so good for greedy 7 year olds seeking instant gratification). So our family winter hygge is all about smores. For the uninitiated, this gourmet delight is a marshmallow toasted on the fire and then squished delightfully between two biscuits (preferably chocolate). Embellish as you wish; peanut butter, sprinkles and chocolate buttons are the shizzle. Smor-ing is greeted with great enthusiasm and for a few sacred wonderful moments our family sits around the fire toasting marshmallows feeling very self satisfied and so damn hygge (until someone gets jousted with a toasting stick).
Stay warm and cosy