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You know what hygge is by now, right? It’s that Danish word that we say means “something like ‘cozy’ but there’s not an exact translation in English” and there’s a part of me that recoils a bit because that already sounds pretentious. You will never know if you’re pronouncing it right. Even if you say it to a Danish person. Because they might say you’re right but they might just be being nice.

It’s about bringing warmth and light to a cold and dark part of the year. It’s about being around people you like, slowing down and enjoying simple things. So you light lots of candles and turn on Christmas lights and put a fire in your fireplace (or on Netflix if you don’t have a fireplace) when it’s dark. You curl up in blankets and read books. You drink tea and put jigsaw puzzles together. You slow-cook your dinner and make bread to go with it. You eat lots of soup. You bundle up and go outside and feel the cold and go inside and feel the relative warmth of your home.

And that’s lovely and I really want to embrace it. Except marketing. I know about hygge because like everything else ever (including “minimalism”), it’s been hijacked by people trying to sell me things. If you google the word, you’ll get lists like this one. This one includes a $58 candle. And as a person who makes and sells candles, I would like to say, please do not buy candles just to be hygge. Don’t feel the need to “get the look” and buy hygge furniture. Please use things you already have to be hygge. I guess if you need something like a coat, then buy it. But don’t just buy a new coat because you want a hygge coat. Coats are inherently hygge. “The Little Book of Hygge” and other hygge books are available at the library! If you need it to live on your coffee table, you’re trying too hard. Which is not hygge. Slow the down, please.

OK, rant over. Here’s a picture of my cats being hygge AF:

hygge cats