I am sure you have read about this. Pronounced hoog uh. The art of being cozy when things are cold, grim, and bleak out there. Here in the United States, we have never needed hygge, but boy oh boy do we ever now.

Hygge is practiced in the places where people have had to stay inside for months during long, dark winters. In the Scandinavian countries, for instance, where it is dark for long stretches in the wintertime. There may only be an hour or so of daylight. Or Alaska, where it isn’t only dark outside, but those igloos are so dim.

What these people do is get totally cozy. They light fires. I think there are fires even in igloos, but I am not sure about that–you can Google it. They have candles everywhere. Wool throws and blankets draped over all the sofas. Again, not sure about igloos and sofas.

They take part in cozy activities, such as cribbage games, chess, and in more modern hygge homes, probably Fortnite. They drink grogg. I am not sure what that is. So maybe tea. I read about people in small Alaskan villages who go to the community center for dances, chanting, and food. Not so much now, with the pandemic and social distancing, so I guess they stick closer to the igloos. It strikes me that this isn’t politically correct–I am sure that many Alaskans live in houses, not igloos. But the hygge thing still holds.

Other hygge activities are crafts like knitting, candle-making, and simmering huge caldrons of bone broth. This might be a bit tough for vegetarian hyggians, but they must just do more knitting. Other activities for coziness include long, intimate conversations, reading sonnets to one another, and figuring out what to do with all of the bone broth.

As we face what Dr. Fauci has called “a long, dark, winter ahead,” I am eager to embark on a hygge adventure. So I told my husband all about it. This was his reaction: “If you can do all of that stuff by yourself while I am at my studio practicing the accordion, have a blast.”

I was dashed. Because

It takes two to hygge.

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