It's been cool and rainy here in Baltimore, although the temperature flirted with the 90° range a couple of weeks ago (that sort of flirtation should never be encouraged), and I sit here, all jealous of people in Australia and other points below, because they have lived through summer and will soon enjoy winter.
I really think the best way for me to live is to move to Australia from April through October every year, the way I dislike summer heat and humidity.
I love winter and heavy coats and wool sox so much that others have suggested I move to Denmark, full time.
Still others have suggested that I move anywhere, full time, as soon as possible.
But there is a word from Denmark that is becoming popular here, and who wouldn't like feeling "hygge"? It's not easy to pronounce, but it's easy to like. You say "hoo-guh," and just think of "a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being." That's the Oxford English Dictionary speaking, and there is no greater authority on our native tongue than they.
The etymology of the word says it comes from a sixteenth-century Norwegian term, hugga, meaning "to comfort" or "to console," and it's related to the English word "hug."
The Danes have used the word forever, but it's only becoming a thing in the English-speaking word just now. There are books about it; I even saw one on the shelves of the library the other day where I went to hygge out for a while. British journalist Helen Russell wrote a book called "The Year of Living Danishly," and she says hygge is all about "taking pleasure in the presence of gentle, soothing things," like a freshly brewed cup of coffee and cashmere socks.
I prefer hot tea, and if you want to get a head start on your Christmas shopping for me, Brooks Brothers is offering a pair of cashmere socks for just $298. Red, please.
Danish doctors advise their patients who come down with colds to try "tea and hygge," and they say it's ok to wear your hyggebukser, which are those worn-out pants that people tell you never to wear outside, but feel so good because they're just worn perfectly.
I think we all understand. Snuggle up with your hot tea or coffee and your flannel blanket and get all hygge-y. It's only a few short months until winter comes to America. Blessed, beautiful, winter.