Notes from Jan

Holy Hygge

March 25, 2017

This week the Boston Globe reported new research shows Norwegians are the happiest people on earth.

Guess it’s time to burn my copy of Scandinavian Humor and Other Myths.

While still talking Scandinavian trivia, have you heard of  hygge? It’s a Danish word for the preferred way of life in Scandinavia, hygge (pronounced hoo gah).  One of the books on the subject’s called The Little book of Hygge  by Wiking. No, I didn’t misspell viking, nor have I read the book, but grew up with the word, cozily, from Bestemor, my Norwegian grandmother.

The closest we come to the concept  in our culture is cozy.   To the happy Norwegians cozy means more than cash.  When given the choice, these highly taxed citizens prefer minutes over money.  Time to linger with friends and family, to explore the outdoors, stop for coffee(often!) and enjoy life.  Cozy. Hygge.

Taking a class on the New Testament’s reminded me that Jesus, not the Danes or Scandinavians, came up with the heart of hygge,  valuing life and people more than accumulating money.  The truth that one can’t serve money and God is also true about running after money more than valuing time and relationships.   Something’s got to give.

According to Jesus and others in the New Testament, we’re prone to worry, be greedy, selfish, ungrateful.

So Jesus takes us on a mental nature walk.

Look at the lilies.

Check out the Chickadees.



Holy Hygge.

Hoo Gah!

Sounds like a war cry.

Maybe it’s time.





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  • Reply wendy lane March 25, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Fabulous! I love this! Hoo Gah! Yes!!

  • Reply Lisa Carlson Penta March 25, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Tack så mycket Jan ❤
    By the way, so glad to know someone else has a copy of “Scandinavian Humor and Other Myths!”

  • Reply Niffy March 25, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    Wonderful mindset, I wish more people would prefer cozy over money! I know I do and wish I
    could do more often.

  • Reply Dale Lefever March 27, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Thanks Jan,
    I am afraid I probably have worried more about money in my retirement than in my “formal” working years. I try to think it will allow me to do more for others, when I really need to more with others. I am glad you don’t live any closer, or I would be living in a state of constant guilt! 🙂

  • Reply Nancy Sheys March 28, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    It reminds me of your Mother’s book, “First We Have Coffee.” She was putting people first before anything.

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