Nature has certainly set the scene for Part 2 in our discussion of cozy joy. Outside my window, and many of yours I imagine, there’s a blanket of white cloaking the brilliant colors of fall. And if the ice and snow weren’t enough to drive us indoors, record low temps swept the Midwest this week. We’ve had winter time line-up in our living room this week as we try-on last year’s attire to see what might still fit. Time to find new winter coats and boots for quickly growing children!
But enough talk of cold. Let’s return to our discussion of warmth and joy during fall and winter months. Last week, we looked at Norwegian practices that promote joy in winter. We talked about cultivating rest, joy, connection, and self-care in these cold months. And this week we turn to the How? of this practice, exploring ways to bring cozy joy and care into your world.
Hygge is the Danish buzzword that defines this sense of coziness that we seek in winter. Its definition reads, “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Conviviality–living with joy–how lovely. And other words join hygge’s ranks–words like the Norwegian koselig, “coziness, intimacy, warmth, happiness.” I think I’m feeling more relaxed just reading those definitions.
A new cozy word recently caught my attention. Fredagsmys is a Swedish word that translates “cozy Friday.” Ahh, Friday coziness. That’s what so many of us crave at the end of a long week. Many families and spouses welcome connecting over Friday evenings at home with a cozy blanket and a sigh of relief. Work teams gather for reflection, sharing and support as they bring close to the end of a work week.
In Sweden, the Fredagsmys tradition involves tacos, soda, and chips in front of the television. Maybe you have different traditions, like Taco Tuesday or Friday game night. Whatever your preferred food and entertainment, the act of gathering regularly with those you love brightens long nights. And the ritual of devoting a particular time to this gathering, like Friday Fredagsmys, establishes a habit. When an activity becomes habit, it’s easier to integrate into your busy schedule.
While in a moment I share some ideas and lists for creating cozy space, which speaks more to a physical concept, it feels most important to remember that hygge, koselig, and fredagsmys are much more of a psychological concept. It’s about being with and feeling ready for connection. Whether coming together as a work team, family, or a group of friends, you join-in with the intention of being with others, being present, and valuing time together.
For Fredagsmys Friday, we may try a few different ideas to see what fits best.
- Popcorn and movie night
- Gathering around the firepit to roast s’mores and stargaze
- Pizza and game night
- Backyard (or living room) campout
- Taco night followed by a Family Magic List
- Hot chocolate and read alouds (in blanket forts for little ones)
- Cookie baking and story sharing
What about you? Do you have fun Friday traditions for connecting with your family? Do share in the comments!
I also want to outfit my home and my family routine to be a space of cozy joy during cold nights.
Here’s my Hygge supply list: floor pillows, cozy blankets, stacks of books and magazines, a stocked family game cabinet, twinkling lights, candles.
What items would you add to that list to contribute to a sense of hygge?
I look forward to us all sharing with each other more in a new space I’m developing. Called Ask About My Day Cafe, the virtual space will allow us to meet up for connection and reflection–we can share time together and draw on the collective wisdom that flows from a gathering of wonderers and curiousiters. And then I’ll send you resources to further connection others during Fredagsmys Friday, or any day!
Flourishing in ordinary magic.
Hope to see you there!