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Spread A Little Hygge This Winter

By now, many of us are familiar with the Danish term “hygge,” which is defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” In fact, “hygge” was in the running for the 2016 Oxford Dictionary word of the year award. Hygge is considered to be a part of the Danish national character. With every smile and tip of the hat, hygge is spread and coziness is shared from one to another. You can look at it similarly to the southern identity of hospitality. We smile and say hi to strangers when we walk by. We wave as we drive past our neighbors, familiar or not. This little bit of southern hospitality can be seen as our own homegrown version of hygge, spreading cheer and comfort. While this kindness is important year-round, it’s especially beneficial during the cold, dark days of winter. And while we can’t be with each other physically or wrap our loved ones in real hugs during this Covid winter, it’s even more important to our emotional wellbeing to make our surroundings as cozy as possible.