Passionate About Pittsburgh
and the Moms Who Live Here

Hygge Away Your Winter Blues

A view of Oakland during the Blizzard of 2010. Looks inviting, no?

As fall cruises towards winter the days get shorter, the dark gets darker, the wind howls howlier, the cold gets colder, and it can impact how you feel.  

I used to be one of those morose folks, fist raised to the sky, other hand firmly clenching a glass of red wine, bemoaning the weather and looking for jobs in Florida. But then I found something that totally changed my point of view. Something that has taken a part of the year that I used to loathe and turned it into one of my absolute favorites. Because I, ladies and gents, have discovered and embraced hygge.

Hygge is a Danish word meaning a feeling of coziness, of comfort, of delight. Hygge, pronounced hue-guh, doesn’t have a true English definition. It’s about embracing the moment and imbuing it with light and love. It’s that delicious feeling you get when you wrap up in soft, warm blanket, mug of tea in hand, and snuggle with the family for movie night.

I mean, it doesn’t have to be a cup of tea. This is hot cocoa, Bailey’s, and hand -whipped cream, topped with cinnamon sugar. In my Pittsburgh Pottery Yinz mug. So, ya, basically heaven.

There is no right or wrong way to experience hygge. I find my own personal hygge at some point involves my favorite blanket and snuggles, but we have found a range of delightful family activities to precede what my family refers as ‘The Snuggling’. We created a new mid-fall tradition, The Great Turkey Shoot Out. We rent a party room at Laser Storm, invite our family and friends, and let the good times roll. After we have all worn ourselves out with laser tag and arcade games, we snuggle.

Family game night is another sure-fire way to keep the ‘holy crap it’s cold and dark’ blues away. We love a good Connect Four tournament, and if you haven’t tried Ticket to Ride yet, I highly suggest it. Put on your comfy clothes, fire up the hot cocoa, play a few hours of games, then snuggle.

This is some next level hygge right here.

Host a Winter Open House. Create a hot chocolate bar for kids and adults, get the fire pit going, put on some tunes, and fling those doors open. When everyone heads home, warm from the fire, the cocoa, and kindship, go ahead and snuggle.

Have the fam put on their jammies and bust out another great Danish creation, Legos. Build a blanket fort in your living room and create a cozy Danish Lego village. Create a whole backstory on the village and have everyone create a character, and put on a little cozy play right there in your blanket fort. Then, snuggle.

I used to dread this time of the year. Now, I relish it. No other time of the year sees my family together more. This is when we connect, grow, and cherish. In the dark and the cold, I turn to my friends and family to be the light. Spiked hot cocoa doesn’t hurt either. May you and your family find your hygge!

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