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Photo of Winter Sunset: By L. John Ribar

Joy Ann Ribar asks: How do you Hygge?

Joy Ann Ribar is the author of the Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery series, inspired by Wisconsin’s four seasons and friendly quirks. Her most recent post is here. You can find her books here, or more about her here.

Janus: Free Images by Drawing Tree

Is it too late to say Happy New Year? I think not since it’s still January, the first month in our Gregorian Calendar.  Did you know the first month of the year is named after the Roman god Janus?  Janus was the god of beginnings and endings who had two faces, so he could look back at the past and forward to the future.  Pretty fitting for our first month, eh?

Speaking personally, January is an uncomplicated time of the year in Wisconsin where I live. Buried deep in the snow and cold, with skimpy daylight hours, I’m often in my pajamas by six p.m. The holidays are over.  There’s no reason to bake since we just finished weeks of over-indulging, and I have cookies that will last until Valentine’s Day. And there’s nothing happening in terms of special events. In other words, it’s the hygge season, aka time to get cozy. 

Hygge isn’t simply a word in Denmark. It is the Scandinavian practice of coziness; perhaps even an art form.  A hygge environment requires candlelight, warm blankets, a fire, comfort food, hot beverages and — most importantly, companions to share those items with you.  You cannot “hygge” alone.

Joy Ribar

Joy Ann Ribar writes the Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery series, inspired by Wisconsin’s four seasons and friendly quirks. You can find out more about her on her website, where you can sign up for her newsletter, or follow her on Facebook, or Instagram.

This Post Has 14 Comments

    1. Joy Ann Ribar
      Joy Ann Ribar

      I can’t think of a more fitting hygge companion — unconditional LOVE. Thanks for reading Sherrill.

  1. Tim Chapman
    Tim Chapman

    My wife has a book about this very topic that she pulls out every winter. I can’t wait to show her your article!

    1. Joy Ann Ribar
      Joy Ann Ribar

      Thanks, Tim. There are many components to hygge — it’s cool your wife has a whole book on it. I have a couple hygge books of my own, I confess.

    1. Joy Ann Ribar
      Joy Ann Ribar

      Anne Louise: My grumpy old Dexter cat likes to get cozy, but a dog and husband are pretty nice, too. (Ha!)

  2. Laurie Buchanan
    Laurie Buchanan

    Joy — I was so enthralled by the idea of Hygge that I learned about in your wonderful book, DEEP DARK SECRETS, that I bought “The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living” for my sister as a gift. She loves it!

    1. Joy Ann Ribar
      Joy Ann Ribar

      Thanks for your comment, Laurie. I think every culture has their own form of hygge, but most importantly, I love that it’s recognized as a valuable aspect of life.

  3. Sheila Lowe
    Sheila Lowe

    What a lovely idea–and I don’t wait for 6:00 for my pjs 🙂

    1. Joy Ann Ribar
      Joy Ann Ribar

      Sheila: You’re my kind of gal! With all the zooming we do, I think the PJ biz must be booming.

  4. Margaret Mizushima
    Margaret Mizushima

    Joy, I love this post! I think that’s what I’m doing this January after such a busy past year. I hygge with our German shorthaired pointer, Hannah, in front of the fire, binge watching Netflix. What a great concept. I think I’ll practice it all winter!

  5. Joy Ann Ribar
    Joy Ann Ribar

    Margaret, thank you for reading. I fell in love with the concept (I think a lot of us did) before we knew it had a special name. January and most of Winter is good for hygge times. Enjoy what you will.

  6. Sharon Lynn
    Sharon Lynn

    My daughter introduced me to hygge last year and I love it! My fluffy Maine coon cat and a cup of hot tea makes me happiest. I need something opposite for the dead of summer here in the desert when it’s over 110 degrees. How do you feel cozy without sweating? 🙂

  7. Joy Ann Ribar
    Joy Ann Ribar

    Sharon Lynn: I love Maine coon cats! Feeling cozy without sweating – there’s the rub. Sometimes, I just wrap a blanket around my feet, which always tend to be cold, even in warm weather. The beauty of hygge is that you can pick your ways to be cozy!

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