Hygge: Finding Joy & Magic in the Ordinary (My 2017 Word of the Year)

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Happy 2017! I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing Christmas break. We are technically still on holidays as the kids are home from school for one more week, but both the Hubby and I are ever-so-slowly getting back into our work this week. For the last few years I’ve chosen a word that I want to focus on for the year. My long list of resolutions has slowly morphed into a single word, and I’m loving it. I do like goals, but I find that it’s more meaningful and simpler to find one word that I can aspire to.

This year, my word for 2017 is a fascinating one. It’s not even in English; it’s Danish! The word is HYGGE.

Hygge: Finding Joy + Magic in the Ordinary, Cozy Moments

Hygge cannot be translated to English very well, but the Oxford dictionary describes Hygge as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)”

Hygge: Finding Joy + Magic in the Ordinary, Cozy Moments

I’ve purchased a couple of e-books about Hygge over my break, and I’m absolutely obsessed with the concept! It’s about embracing the simple things in life and finding joy & peace in them. It’s also about making the people in your life feel joy and peace when they enter your home. Here are the books I’m reading – you might want to read them too!


Hygge embodies exactly how I’ve always wanted our home to feel – like a giant, cozy hug.

After studying Hygge (which is pronounced “hoo-ga”, by the way), to me it’s also going to be trading perfection for hospitality. My home doesn’t have to be spotless or perfectly staged for guests. I don’t want to let the thought that my home has to be incredibly clean prevent me from hosting gatherings with my neighbors and friends.

Hygge for me this year will also be giving. Even if it’s “small” things like fresh baking or a freezer meal, I want to give more things with love to my friends in need. Just simple, little things that let people know that they’re loved.

 Hygge: Finding Joy + Magic in the Ordinary, Cozy Moments

Hygge in the home decor sense for me this year will mean continuing to do what I’ve always loved – making our home feel cozy and warm. Hygge is warm blankets, sheepskins, candles, pillows, cozy reading corners, a fire in the fireplace… all of the things that we love already in our house (and they’re all especially nice during these cold winter  months)!

Hygge will also mean more home cooking and baking. I find joy in baking for my family, and I’ll be sharing even more recipes this year – even the simple ones.

Want to join me in embracing Hygge this year? I encourage you to read a book about it, and I’ll leave you with these quotes that I think are very “hyggelig“:

On joy in the ordinary moments:

Joy is not a constant. It comes to us in moments – often ordinary moments. Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down the extraordinary moments. Other times we’re so afraid of the dark we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light. A joyful life is not a floodlight of joy. That would eventually become unbearable. I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude and inspiration.
Brené Brown

On perfection:
The greatest enemy of ordinary daily goodness and joy is not imperfection, but the demand for some supposed perfection or order.
On what matters:

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
Robert Breault

On giving little things:

We can do no great things-only small things with great love.
Mother Teresa

On embracing today and not worrying about tomorrow:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:33-34
Happy New Year! May you find joy in the little things this year, friends.


  1. I love the idea of Hygge. It reminds us we need less to be happy, we just need to be.

    Also, your posting of the Little Women book with the Rifle cover is reminding me that I’ve been meaning to get that collection for my daughter and nieces for their birthdays!

  2. Hygge sounds very much like Gezellig, which is Dutch! It implies all of those same things, and also has no single English equivalent. Good word!

  3. Thank you for this information, I had a grandmother who came from Denmark at age 14, I love the idea of incorporating the idea of Hygge into my home and remembering my grandma, Marne Christine (Hanson) Nelson, with her beautiful Danish accent. Also, thank you for the downloadable print, it is lovely!

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