What's With Hygge?

One of the Oxford Dictionaries' words of the year for 2016 was "hygge". Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a word borrowed from the Danes, and defined as "a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being". While the Danish people have always embraced this lifestyle of comfort, simplicity, and gratitude, the trend finally hit Britain and The United States with the publishing of several books on the matter, and Americans embraced it hard. Americans preceding love for athleisure, latte hearts, and obsession with the fall already plays into the hygge mindset perfectly. 

While I am fully on board with being cozy and grateful with your friends and family, I don't quite understand the need to give it a word. Whenever I read an article about how "Hygge is the New It-Trend", I never quite get it. Aren't Americans already preemptively trying to be cozy at all times? How does lounging at home become a trend? However, when I stripped away American sensationalism, I understood the importance a little more.

Lucky for them, Scandinavian countries are some of the happiest and most developed in the world-- they have free healthcare, great education, and suitable pay. So, why would they need to unwind from such a great life? Hygge House describes hygge as "acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends... as cozy charming or special". Despite the Scandi's remarkable way of life, they always remember to express gratitude. Hygge is all about not just being present, but enjoying the present: this concept, I can get down with. I'm all about expressing gratitude and showing those you love how much you love them. We often tend to forget the true meaning of words and feelings, as we've done with hygge. While it may be worthwhile to sell sweaters and blankets with the word "hygge" attached, it's much more fulfilling to embrace the true meaning of hygge, and be in the moment.