Winter Hygge with an Artic Twist

hygge

We survived another Arctic spell of dark, freezing, cold, snow filled weather. We survived temperatures in the -30s and a few different episodes of colds and flu’s.

When the weather hit single digits, it was like living in the tropics. It was also a bonus to see that slowly, the darkness of winter is loosening its grip. The sun is now setting closer to 5pm, and we are no longer leaving for or arriving from work in darkness. When you live in the North, these “little” things make a huge difference.

During these colder and darker times people in my city tend to gravitate towards warm, comforting foods. Various chili recipes, soup, mashed potatoes, lasagne, anything that’s made in the oven, and hot beverages all day long. We also tend to spend more time indoors. Here we consider it to be about making the most out of winter; in other places they call it Hygge.

john-candy-plains-trains-automobiles

John Candy 🙂

Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a Danish word that is a feeling or mood that comes taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day moments more meaningful, beautiful or special. Whether it’s making coffee a verb by creating a ritual of making it then lingering over a cup to a cosy evening in with friends to the simple act of lighting a candle with every meal. Hygge is being aware of a good moment whether it’s simple or special.” (Source: http://hyggehouse.com/hygge)

I admire and agree with the concept of hygge, but I don’t like how it has been marketed to North Americans. I see pictures in Facebook posts, social media, and news articles, and it all seems like a giant Ikea catalogue with people dressed in Old Navy outfits. I might be old fashioned, but I don’t want to constantly feel the need to live a Facebook worthy life. The moments I appreciate the most aren’t usually capable of being photographed.

john-candy-cold-weather

R.I.P. John Candy. Cool Runnings 🙂

When I was in my early 20s there was no Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat. Your gratitude was reduced to pen and paper, prayer time, or slipped into conversations with friends.

Do we really need new trendy words to remind us to be grateful for what we have? Do we need new social media trends to prevent us from forgetting to take care of ourselves and find moments of calm and quiet at some point during our waking hours? Some people might truly need these visual reminders, but as believers in God, I don’t think we need to constantly post our hygge, mindfulness activities, gratitude journals, or any other tangible items on social media.

St. Paul has some spiritual advice and encouragement for believers, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

A Christians, I don’t believe we are called to be trendy; instead we are called to live a lifestyle of gratitude. Thankful to God for what we do have in our lives and thankful to others for being a part of our lives. Thankfulness for being alive, a new, fresh start with each day we are given life.

We have a lifestyle of thankfulness, not a social media trend.

I encourage you to read Psalm 103 and take some time to Bless the Lord in gratitude for all that you have. The things you are grateful for may not be worthy of a photo, but that is not what gratitude is about.

If I was forced to upload my “hygge” moments onto social media, it would not look pleasant. My hygge collage over the past few weeks would consist of: Kleenex, Tylenol Sinus, lip balm, my humidifier, and a few loads of laundry that I managed to complete in one day. This may seem like an odd list of things to be thankful for and find comfort in, but I believe it’s important that as Christians we not allow social trends to determine what we are thankful for and how we give thanks to God and others.

I want to challenge and encourage you to find room in your heart to be thankful for and find comfort in things that are not glamourous, trendy, expensive, or even beautiful. When your gratitude is focused on God you will find a lot more things to be thankful for.

Further Reading:

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-year-of-hygge-the-danish-obsession-with-getting-cozy

http://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/22/hygge-conspiracy-denmark-cosiness-trend

 

 

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