According to the recently released World Happiness Report, Denmark ranks as the happiest country on Earth and one of the reasons listed for that is the Danes’ collective regular practice of something called hygge (pronounced hyooga. More or less). The word doesn’t translate directly to English but can be generally (and inadequately) explained as coziness. Hot chocolate, roaring fires, candlelight, and good company are things that would be considered hygglig and essential not just for getting through the dark days of winter but for thoroughly enjoying them.
I think the VanWickle McKees knew all about hygge even if they didn’t have a word for it — and then again, maybe they did. And I believe they practiced it as they gathered at Blithewold every summer and holiday season. Family tradition is honored this year as it is every year with an 18′ tree in the entrance hall, decorations, lights, and glitteriness throughout the mansion, the opportunity to indulge in afternoon tea in the dining room with family and friends, and listen to music as you pretend Blithewold is your own home away from home.
And I have already mentioned in previous posts a relatively new (since last year) Friday evening event destined to become a tradition. Christmas Sparkle feels especially hygglig to me. A lighted path from the mansion leads to bonfires, s’mores kits, hot cocoa, crafts, carolers, and beautifully decorated trees in the Enclosed Garden and on to a warm(ish), bedecked and candlelit greenhouse full of green growing things. I’m all for a good blaze and candlelight but for me it’s especially essential for year-round happy-coziness to be surrounded with green growing things… You too?
Keep your eye on the forecast and on our website for event announcements — it would be challenging even for those practiced in the art of coziness to enjoy the outdoor festivities if it’s pouring buckets (not to mention how difficult it would be to keep the fires lit). But otherwise, gather your friends and family and make a hygglig night of it — we plan on Sparkling, inside and out, the next four Fridays!