With the holidays (and general acceptance for ugly but cozy sweaters) behind us, we at Spey find ourselves looking bleakly ahead at the coming winter of ice and snows. This is the time of year when, no matter how many logs you toss onto a blazing fire, there persists a palpable, unflagging chill in a room. The bittersweet memory of flickering holiday lights and recent, sprightly parties adds to the noticeable change in the air. What’s more, there’s nearly two long months until our Valentine sweeps us off our feet. There remains but one thing to do: get hygge with it.
We delight in keeping our finger on the pulse of the new and the exciting in Washington, DC, and this season’s linguistic belle of the ball is a Danish import: hygge. A word so in right now with the littérateurs, hygge (vaguely pronounced hue-guh by fetching your best Dansk vowels) may be explained as ‘the art of cozy living’ – though it is often breathlessly defended as untranslatable by its staunchest advocates. At its core, hygge is a way of enjoying the moment, of seeing each instant with perfect contentedness and gratitude for small pleasures.
Sounds perfectly cozy, yes? Perhaps the world might be that little bit better for all if, in general, humanity could adopt a more relaxed, satisfied disposition and be happy in everyday life. A sense of comfort and security coupled with togetherness and appreciativeness (perhaps set off by a mug of cocoa, the fuzziest of slippers, the hug-like warmth of the Spey tartan, and your closest of friends) – that’s all very hyggelig. It’s about fewer things of greater quality and genuine care. That’s what hygge means to Spey.
So this winter, rather than dashing about to and fro, take a moment to sit and think about your surroundings and see whether you might find beauty and contentedness. Consider hygge a lesson in wellbeing, and then give a tip of the hat to our friends the Danes for exporting this art of coziness to the world.