Hygge, pronounced (Hue-gah) is a Danish word originally derived from an Old Norwegian word meaning well-being and protection from the outside elements. Denmark has notoriously cold, long winters. The concept of hygge has been used by Danish people to help mentally combat the brutally dark, relentless winter season, and fill their homes with comfort and love. Hygge is a word that is so important to Danish people; it’s often used to describe what their culture is all about. Hygge is not necessarily something specific that you can buy, because it’s more of a feeling than a possession.
Hygge really is the epitome of Scandinavian living. Denmark is considered to be one of the happiest places to live. And in the last five years, the concept of hygge has made its way to the U.S. with extreme trendiness. Hygge is most definitely about a feeling rather than a thing but it stops short of relating to Christian hospitality. It is about self-edification, and to soothe one’s self amid the harshness of life.
Hygge also derives from the word ‘hug’. Let’s face it, 2020 has been a dark, brutal year for so many of us. We could all use a long hug.
Here’s the thing. Like a lot of things embraced by the Christian world, Hygge, at its core, does not support the Christ-centered life. Christians tend to get trapped in this false sense of belonging to this world. We look at some trends as harmless. I mean, who wouldn’t want to embrace a candlelit, cozy blanket, home cooking kind of feeling? Nobody.
Now, all these things are not bad. Just the opposite. A home that is welcoming and cozy is one that reflects Christ. Opening our doors to family and friends, making them feel comfortable, offering them food and drink, is what a Christ-centered life is about. The harm of embracing Hygge as a lifestyle is, again, at its core, self-edification. That is dangerous to Christians and it can led us apart from Christ.
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”
A home can be a place of fellowship. Fellowship is so important to Christians. Sharing the story of Jesus Christ on Christmas is one of the most joyous ways to share the good news of our Lord and Savior. It will definitely be more challenging this year and thinking outside the box is a must. Here’s an idea: invite friends or family to join you in reading the story of Jesus’ birth over a Zoom call, or on Facebook Live. Start a faith and morning routine by memorizing scripture. Ask friends to join in. Social media is a great way to reach out to others in fellowship in this Covid world we are living in. It can also be a great place for fellowship of people from different countries.
A home can be a place of contentment. A cozy home is a place for being content with what you have and a place to find joy in the midst of a storm. Human beings are always in search of the elusive contentment. But true contentment can only be found in a relationship with Christ. Allow your home to be that sort of place. Reflect Christ’s love and forgiveness in your home and how you treat others. Enjoy what you have but also be content with it as well.
“And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.” ~Ecclesiastes 8:15
A home is a soft place to fall. When life gets hard, and it will, a home should be the place you run to. A place that is safe. A place to be yourself without judgment. A place of love. Jesus not only dined with sinners, but he also engaged with all sorts of people that the Holy men would not dare associate with or touch. He was the true role model for hospitality, kindness, and acceptance.
Unfortunately, Hygge has been used as a marketing ploy for Americans. I am not against a warm, cozy blanket, snuggled up on the sofa with my dog, hot coffee in my hand, but we must be careful not to depend on worldly comforts to get us through the harsh winter storms of our life. Our true rest is found only in Christ and our relationship with God. Amen.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” ~2 Corinthians 1:3