How to Have a Hygge Advent
How to Have a Hygge Advent
Hygge (hoo-ga) is often thought of as merely an interior design trend. There are plenty of websites and Instagram accounts devoted to showing off perfectly cozy scenes in a backyard or breakfast nook.
But as we’ve written before, hygge is much more than that, especially for a Catholic. Hygge is a concept and lifestyle that can be an inspiration to holiness in our own lives as Catholics. It is, essentially, living in a way that relishes simplicity and creates an atmosphere of comfort and intentionality.
And it is an almost perfect vehicle for inspiring us to have a holy and intentional season of Advent. Advent gives us the opportunity to slow down and spend the four weeks leading up to Christmas taking stock of where we are spiritually. We prepare our hearts for celebrating the birth of Christ at Christmas by various spiritual practices that help us clear out the clutter of our own hearts to make more room for the Lord. Implementing aspects of hygge into this Advent, with an eye for how it can guide the practice of our faith, can help us have a fruitful and holy season of Advent.
Hygge and the Spirit of Advent
There are many ways to define hygge. VisitDenmark.com defines it as “creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.” In past blog posts we have defined it as “a simple, authentic way of living -- one that isn’t in a hurry but embraces the good things in life at a relaxed pace.”
Hygge is inspired by simplicity, authenticity, and intentionality… three things that will help us make the most of our time during this holy season. During Advent, we may embrace certain spiritual practices and devotions to make more room for what matters. Employing a few hygge principles will help us spend less time busying ourselves and checking off our to-do lists, and more time devoting our attention and focus to the things of God.
A Hygge and Holy Advent
Drawing from classic hygge inspiration, here are a few ideas to blend the hygge lifestyle with the season of Advent:
- Create a prayer corner where you can do a daily or weekly Advent devotion. Light candles, burn incense, and create a beautiful space with religious images and icons where you can pray the rosary, journal, or spend time in daily prayer.
- Creating a cozy atmosphere with candles is a very hygge-inspired practice! Make this the year you intentionally light the candles of your Advent wreath each Sunday leading up to Christmas. Place your Advent wreath in a prominent place and gather your family to do the related readings and prayers for each week.
- Start a fire in your fireplace (if you have one), light candles, or string Christmas lights in a corner of your home. Add cozy pillows and blankets and a warm drink on a cold day, and settle in to read a spiritual book or the Infancy Narratives in the Gospels.
- Nature is also an important aspect of hygge. Go for a walk to pray and meditate on the Joyful mysteries of the rosary. You could also gather your family around a fire pit or bonfire in your backyard to pray or read together.
Hygge is a lifestyle that blends well with our Catholic faith, especially during Advent. We become busier and busier throughout the year and end up neglecting prayer, putting ourselves on auto-pilot, and gradually drift further from God. Advent gives us four weeks where we can, with the help and inspiration of hygge, reorient our focus on God, and renew our devotion to prayer and preparation for Christmas with intentionality, simplicity, and authenticity.