Sometimes it takes a snowstorm. But it doesn’t have to.
A few weeks ago, this listicle was wending its way around the internet, referencing cultural concepts that exist in places outside the US. Included on the list is the Danish concept of hygge, which for all intents and purposes is the very concept of shaking the wintertime blues. Candlelight? Friends? Hanging out in front of a fire? Hygge.
Of course, in the US we kind of have the concept. Afterall, everyone knows that hunkering down with pillow forts and hot chocolates—or, if you’re the sort, a bottle or two of red wine—makes for merriness in the middle of a wintry day. But pillow-fort builders notwithstanding, I think it’s safe to admit that without even a word to describe the concept, we haven’t fully embraced the notion that cultivating cozy is imperative to getting through winter. Sometimes it feels as though we need a snowstorm to justify a little extra hunkering down and cozying up.
Growing up, I loved storms, mostly because they came with the threat—or hope—of a power outage and day off of school. Surely I’d read too many Laura Ingalls Wilder books, but I was desperate to light candles and watch the snow fall. My parents encouraged the enthusiasm by always making a celebration out of a snow day. On more than one occasion we went for reckless nighttime sledding excursions when there was the promise of canceled school the next day. The point is, a storm meant the opposite of business as usual.
I realize the romance only endures so long and I’m not actually wishing a wintry power outage (or worse) on anyone. But there’s something about the habit-breaking power of a snowstorm that’s worth trying to recreate, historic storm a-brewing or no. It’s so easy to fall into a rut in the wintertime; to lie listless onto the couch, eating bon-bons and dictating which Hulu episodes you next want your husband to cue up. Just me? Well, here’s a little pledge to shake things up. To unplug the computers and banish the phones. To take a nighttime walk in fresh snow. To take a nighttime walk at all! Here’s to lighting candles and pouring tea and generally luxuriating in a little bit of self-imposed wintry quiet.
Happy snow day, friends. Stay safe out there.
Photo from my Instagram feed. Lots more snowy shots from the neighborhood to come, no doubt.