a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being
As a perpetually cold person, I have been quite drawn to Hygge for a few years now. Though it’s only been in recent months that I feel like I’ve been able to really start putting it into practice- likely because it lends itself to cooler weather. As author Jamie Erickson points out, Hygge has become something of a cultural buzzword. I first saw it popping up on Pinterest. And then, the Hygge aesthetic began creeping into the Instagram world. Before I knew it, influencers were posting all about “Hygge corners,” “Hygge days,” and even “Hygge outfits.” Now, these things may *exist* but Hygge is more than the way a home is decorated or a day of tea and reading. Hygge is contentment. This can be found in kneading bread, your electric blanket (guilty), and other components of your life and home that bring contentment and peace.
In Holy Hygge, Jamie walks the reader through the seven components of Hygge to consider: hospitality, relationships, well-being, atmosphere, comfort, contentment, and rest.
As I started the book, quite early on she mentions Sally Clarkson. At the end of 2021 I read The Lifegiving Home by Sally & Sarah Clarkson. I’ve become an avid SC podcast listener, and have gone on to read….ummm…a lot of Sally Clarkson books. So Jamie coming out the gate early on with a Sally quote meant that I was certainly reading the right book for me.
Another aspect that I loved about this book, as its title suggests, is her regular connection to the Gospel, Biblical references, and “creating a place for people to gather and the gospel to grow.” What you may ascertain from Hygge becoming popular on social media, is that it has a lot of secular commentary, or just neutral commentary that is neither secular nor Christian in nature. Jamie gives readers tangible ways to apply Hygge WITH the Gospel, and the Lord woven into every step. This also means, this is a book that I need a hardcopy of. I feel like I am better at application and processing these components when I can tangibly hold them in my hand. This book was so good, I listened to it in 1 day working in the kitchen.
Something that both Jamie and Sally talk about is keeping ingredients for easy meals on hand for short notice guests. As making food is one of my love languages anyway, this is one I’ve really taken to heart. I keep a stock of frozen, homemade chicken bone broth, noodles, matzah ball mix, and chicken pretty much at all times. Jamie commented that whatever dish YOU choose to keep on hand, make sure it’s something you can easily do WHILE you are also chatting with your guest. I’ll throw in that I always keep ingredients for brownies or cookies on hand too. This means that typically, in less than an hour, I can throw together a decent meal, with very little prep, while also connecting with a guest. It’s a sure win for everyone. I believe it was Jamie who also commented- most people aren’t particularly worried about WHAT they’re eating, as much as the community and connection to go with it.
Jamie’s break down of each of the 7 areas of consideration with personal anecdotes, tangible application, and Christ focus, is relatable, moving, and encouraging. If you are a fan of cozy (ME!), and are looking for more ways to incorporate not just hygge, but hospitality into your daily life, with solid Biblical support and content, this is a good one.