Hygge - The Essence of Cabin Fervor
If there's anything more relaxing than a getaway to a mountain cabin, I haven't found it yet.
There's something so enchanting about a dimly lit log cabin on a snowy evening. In the cabin's corner, there's a big stone fireplace alive with crackling logs and dancing flames.
In front of the fireplace lays a fluffy fur rug and two oversized and overstuffed brown leather chairs with a small tree stump table between them. On the stump table are two glasses of red wine - one for you and one for your cabin compadre.
You sit back comfortably in your chairs, both of you dressed in soft fleece pajamas and fuzzy slippers, sipping slowly on your second (maybe third?) glass of tasty cabernet. Just to the left of the fireplace is a big picture window looking out over the valley below your mountainside perch.
Out the window there's a snowstorm beginning to stir. The pillowy flakes started out tiny and sparse, but have gathered into quarter-size cotton balls filling up the night sky. Through the snow you can still see the small village below and the moonlight outlining the mountains in the sky above.
As the flames crackle and the wind begins to blow outside, you realize you're in complete bliss.
If you're anything like me, just thinking about those last few paragraphs is enough to make me want to jump on a plane and find the nearest snowy mountain getaway ASAP.
What is it about the mix of cold snow and an eclectic little cabin that not only makes a freezing winter night tolerable but even desirable?
Scandinavians have long understood this concept and even have the perfect word for it.
Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is the Danish word that describes a mood of coziness and comfort that creates feelings of wellness, warmth and contentment.
Hygge. One funny, short word that sums up one of the most hearty desires of the soul. It describes how we get drawn into the same Christmas movies every year. Hygge explains why we can't get enough of balsam fir and freshly baked cookie candles around the holidays. And it reminds us to pull out our heaviest sweaters and Ugg boots every time the temperature drops below 50 degrees.
A mountain cabin during the winter provides the perfect setting for experiencing hygge. The remote, peaceful location and natural beauty of the mountains creates a sense of isolation from the stresses of daily life, allowing us to fully relax and connect with loved ones.
The cold, dark winter days lend themselves to spending time indoors, where we can create a warm, inviting atmosphere with candles, soft lighting, comfortable furniture, and warm blankets. The act of cooking and sharing meals with loved ones, playing games, and engaging in other leisure activities can all contribute to a feeling of hygge.
In a mountain cabin, you can also incorporate elements of nature into the hygge experience. Gathering firewood, building a fire, and enjoying the scenic views from the cabin can all serve to connect one with the natural world, further enhancing the feeling of contentment and peace. Winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding also provide opportunities for exercise, fresh air, and further connection with nature.
Hygge can also be found in the small, everyday moments that occur in a mountain cabin during the winter. Drinking a hot cup of cocoa by the fire, taking a long soak in the hot tub, and snuggling up with a good book can all contribute to a feeling of comfort and relaxation.
It's February as I write this, and I hope it finds you cuddled up in a toasty cabin on a snowy day in the mountains. If not, I hope it inspires you to find one as soon as you can! Let's call it Cabin Fervor...not cabin fever.