Modern Homesteading on a Smaller Scale.

Hygge in the Tiny House

Hygge in the Tiny House

…Or, Winter is Upon Us!

Since moving back from the great Midwest three years ago, I’ve found that winters in the PNW are incredibly hard for me. The nights are long and the days are grey and even though the temperature is WAY more mild than Chicago, I feel much more seasonally affected. I want longer days and good weather that allows for me and Adventure Baby to escape the 394 square feet of the house. Cue SAD music, here!

I also have not written in a fair few months, and for this I apologize. In the month leading up to the election, I felt much more pulled to write something that could help sway people away from Mr. Tiny Hands than about Halloween in the Tiny House and after November 8th, I felt pulled to hide under a warm, woolen blanket until January (erm, 2021), shooshing my husband anytime he began to mention the upcoming administration. It’s still hard for me, that’s for sure, and I’m still scared. But I’ll do what I can to remember how #notnormal this all is and let the wool blankets, warm drinks, and twinkly candles smooth my shaken spirits. Long, dark winters, and dark, uncertain times call for a cozy coping mechanism.

Enter Hygge! Not like I’m up on what’s “all the rage” these days, but both the New York Times and The New Yorker did stories about this within the last two weeks and a Pinterest search or two unearthed a slew of satisfying articles and photos, mostly of knobbly-socked feet propped up in front of a fire or steam rising from a big, red mug of hot chocolate.

This one courtesy of The New Yorker but seriously, google it… There’s more where that came from!

Hygge , as all the articles will tell you, doesn’t have an exact translation to English but is a Danish mindset and a national character trait that not only makes them get through winters that are even longer and darker than ours, but also get named the “happiest country on earth” every year for nearly 40 years while doing it. Hygge is the act of getting cozy, of mellowing and getting together in your own home with some dearies while leaving the stress of work, life, and controversial topics behind, and a descriptor for all things wooly, warm, and cabin-y that take a nordic bent. According the the website Hygge Life, It’s an adjective (hyggelig) and a feeling, but also a way to live life- pursuing only the things and people that make you really appreciate the moments that make up your life.” This combination of cozy hibernation and willful ignorance of the shittier things in the great wide world was just what I was doing, so hoozah! We at Chez Tiny House were unwitting trendsetters!

Trendsetters. Doing it right.

The warm, wooden walls, our wool blankets slung over the back of the couch, the nordic Christmas decorations that are our usual decor– it all fit. All I needed was an obscene amount of candles and I was in business. The first day I hygge-d, I went to Goodwill and bought about 25 clear glass votive holders (fittingly from IKEA– love those Scandis!), some candle stands, and two candlesticks. One trip to World Market and one hundred tea lights later I found myself actually counting the hours down to when day would fade away and I could light the lights, and curl up in my blanket with a book. I lit everything, including the menorah since Hanukkah had just started, too, and when James came home he found me on the couch under our big red blanket, happy as a winter clam. He sat with me and we cuddled and talked for a bit. We both felt very happy and content with just this little change in our atmosphere and James remarked that we better “Up our candle budget.”

Thank you, New York Times! This was basically our New Year’s Eve, but with a dozen more people fit into this yellow square…

I may, however, have over-hygge-d it when I invited 18 people over for New Years Eve. We had a fire going outside, which the kids roasted marshmallows on, and we had nice times eating food and playing games, though the “coziness” was less hygge and more adjective-used-to-sell-small-ass-apartment-in-New York City. We didn’t have enough chairs and one of the big people in tiny house bumped my new, slightly wobbly, candelabra, spilling wax all over his shoes. What can I say? I’m an inviter! And we did have a nice time, don’t get me wrong! We just reached the Tiny House’s max capacity (and then I invited two more families…) But how awesome to spread the hygge and share some memorable, happy time with people!

So bring it on, Winter! Bring it on, 2017! I’ll play my part in the resistance and then go home and cuddle with my hubs and babe while drinking mulled wine and watching Masterpiece Mystery. And of course, you’re cordially invited.

The two Norwegians of the house approve of our Scandinavian sensibilities!