December 26 2013

Global hygge

A thought just occurred to me yesterday. As millions of friends and families came together to enjoy each others company and savour the magic of Christmas Day, what the world actually experienced was some kind of universal hygge moment.

The concept of Christmas is as diverse and ubiquitous as that of hygge. It means many different things to many different people and seems to have become much more of a prioritised shared moment than it is a religious festival - a time to embrace the present, take time out from the pressures of daily life, and savour precious time with loved ones. 

Everyone looks forward to Christmas, everyone feels different during Christmas, and everyone talks about it afterwards. Sounds quite like a scale version of Danish hygge really. Just a pity it only happens once a year.

But as Russell McLendon suggests here perhaps what many people outside Denmark would benefit from is a word for, and a prioritisation of, the small shared moments in everyday life.

While we are naturally not advocating Christmas daily - the preparations alone would drive us all insane - we do think people everywhere would benefit from the Danes, and indeed the rest of Scandinavia, if the world approached life the way its happiest peoples go about theirs.