Hygge Hospitality for Christians

Like seemingly anyone who has been on Pinterest in the past few months, I’ve become slightly obsessed with the “hygge” trend. Hygge is a Danish word encompassing the mindful, cozy life. It’s about intentionally setting an atmosphere focused around simple joys.
As a simple joy person, I couldn’t love this trend more. I prefer real books over tablets. Candles make me smile and, even though I regularly kill them, I enjoy having plants in the room. Rarely am I found without a hot beverage of some sort, usually either tea or coffee, in hand. I think I was born to be a hygge person.

“But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands” – Thessalonians 4:10-11, ESV.

I love hygge. It epitomizes in so many ways what it means to live the quiet, simple life. Focusing on what you have been given and savoring each and every moment of it brings such joy. As believers, we live our lives not isolated, but in community.

This call to live our lives out in community is a call to pull others into our lives, to open our doors just as we are, and let friends just do life with us.

So if I am sharing my life with others, what would hygge hospitality look like?

1) Reading the Bible Together

Like not the phone Bible, but break out the actual book and read aloud together. We’ve lost the art of sharing a book communally and opted for the television. Television is consumed, books are engaged with. Be engaged with those around you by embracing the commonality we have in God’s word.

Open up the Bible before or after dinner. Sit around the table and discuss what Isaiah wrote. Share which psalm speaks to your soul. Encourage each other in Christian living. Pass it along and each read a bit.

It might feel awkward at first, but it will blossom into something beautiful. Reading the word of God never returns void. And there is something special about pulling out an actual book and sharing it together.

2) Talk Over a Warm Beverage

We open our hearts up when we have unhurried time. Especially as winter is approaching, start prepping your tea and coffee collections. It is an inexpensive way to serve your friends. Warm beverages and hygge go together like peanut butter and jelly. Break out your pretty tea cups and make it special. Instead of the everyday coffee mug, give your friend the gift of sipping out of your favorite mug or china tea cups. It makes everything so special and delightful.

A friend once told me that he wasn’t sure if he loved coffee or the ritual of coffee. There is something special about the ritual of hot beverages. They take us back to simpler times and allow us to calm and stop. The space between sips is naturally filled with words. Enjoy this time. Cultivate lovely conversation.

3) Lite a Candle

When you have a friend over for coffee or a meal, lite a candle. Something about the little fire signifies that this is special, unhurried time. It reminds us of fancy meals and chapels filled with prayers. Candles are a marker. It shows that this time is set apart for its purpose. Signifying this to your guests, showing them they have your attention and your time, opens up your home and is a way of showing them that you’re ready to be the Mary who sits and listens, not the Martha preoccupied with the busyness of life.

4) Anticipate How to Make Your Friends Comfortable

Think ahead about what your friends might need to be cozy. Have a basket of blankets ready for movie night, so they don’t need to ask for a blanket or freeze. Put a few extra pillows on the guest bed. Have clean, fresh towels ready to do. Bake something easy and delicious ahead of time that you can enjoy over a leisurely breakfast with coffee. This is such a wonderful way to live out the call to think of others more highly than ourselves. Putting our guests first, trying to anticipate their needs, it shows them that they are valued and loved in our home.

5) Pull Out the Board Games

This is a win/win because it not only creates a fun, nostalgic environment but it also tends to eliminate the use of smartphones. When you’re playing a board game, it’s hard to focus on a screen. Some of my favorite memories have been at the table playing Bananagrams or Trivial Pursuit. When you pull out an old-school game, it takes everyone on a trip down memory lane and creates opportunities for all sorts of wonderful conversations about childhood memories. Use these moments to engage with old memories and to create new ones with friends.

 

As winter approaches, let’s get cozy. Let’s take this slow, mundane time and turn it into something beautiful. Instead of complaining about the snow to come, let’s cherish the plans we have for coffee with friends around the fire. Let’s plan soup potlucks and snow days full of board games. God has created each season with unique purpose, let’s make sure we use this one to its full potential.

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  1. This is something I believe that has always been in my nature. Love books over tablet, writing letter or email, having a good conversation with my husband. Reading scriptures together as well as praying together.

  2. Oh gosh I just LOVE these ideas! I’m absolutely pro-Hygge, and most of my friends are too, so these are perfect ideas for hosting get-togethers this season! Thank you for sharing. xo

  3. Thank you for helping me to relax. Seriously, just reading this post slowed me down inside. The other thing you gave me was permission to have people over just for tea. We entertain seldom, because I love the big to-do’s. But I can’t do the big fancy stuff but maybe once/year. However, coffee/tea and a piece of dark chocolate – yep. I could savor that more often.

  4. This is so lovely. I’ve just recently heard about Hygge and I just love it so much. It is me to a tee. The pictures really bring me into that wonderful, cozy feeling. 🙂

  5. I’ve always rented rooms in other people’s houses so I don’t usually get to host people very much. However, what I like to do is buy a $10 gift to Starbucks and then invite a friend with it to have coffee with me. I’ll usually bring scrabble or another game we can play but this convinced me that I should bring my Bible too. I have to gift people hygge more than I can give it in my home but I still love it!

  6. Love this!! Board games are easy to forget about, but can be great fun. The thing I love about hospitality is that it doesn’t have to be fancy. You just have to be willing to let others get in the mess and live life with you.

    Thank you for sharing this!

  7. Oh my goodness, I’ve never heard of Hygge before, but after your post, IM ALL IN! All of these things speak to what my heart really loves. I think I really want to be this person but I’ve been lazy! Thank you for this awesome post and such good examples. I can’t wait to try them!! 🙂

  8. THANK YOU FOR YOUR INSIGHT AND HONESTY
    ITS NOT EASY TO ADMIT YOUR NOT THE PERFECT CHRISTIAN. WHEN I READ YOUR COLUMN IT TOOK ME TO A SONG BY MARVIN WINANS, “YOU JUST DONT WANNA KNOW”
    When you get a chance listen to it..