So my last post – while a funny story – was more of a complaining post, and I apologize for that. I’m one of those people who does their best to find the good in anything small to make myself feel better about life, but sometimes it’s not at easy to do. For this post though it actually is.
December is officially upon us & Christmas is right around the corner, which means that the ‘hygge’, ‘koselig’ atmosphere is all around. Chances are that even if you do not speak a word of any Scandinavian language, you’ve heard of the Danish word ‘hygge’ or the Norwegian word ‘koselig’? No? Well, let me be the first one to attempt to explain them to you then.
The problem with explaining the concept of ‘hygge’ or ‘koselig’ is that there is no English word to 100% describe it. Yes, the easiest translation could be cozy, but cozy -being used in English- would never in a million years include all the feels that are included when a Norwegian says the word ‘koselig’. ‘Koselig’ in Norway is a lifestyle; it’s a way to survive those 7+ months of mostly dark hours and still be able to find the beauty in things. It’s when you sit down with a big mug of tea or hot chocolate on a Sunday evening bundled up in blankets enjoying your warm winter cotton socks and working on your next knitting project while candles are lit all over the place. It’s when you go out for a long day of skiing and then make your way back to the hytte (cabin) to eat a warm meal and try to warm yourself up in the sauna while your muscles are still recovering (not that I do that often, but that’s the exact feeling I got the two times I attempted regular skiing and the feeling I get everytime I run a marathon and come back home afterwards to recover :D). It’s also -for me- the feeling I get when I run to work on cold mornings and get to enjoy a warm shower afterwards & the feeling I get when I walk back home on super cold evenings bundled up in my warmest scarf and find the Christmas lights surrounding me everywhere.
Based on my understanding, the feeling of ‘koselig’ can surround you all year long, but for me it gets the most clear around the fall when the nights get longer and the days get shorter.
Over the last few weeks I have been fully immersed in the koselig lifestyle: from decorating our Christmas tree and our apartment in November (Yes, don’t judge!), to watching close to 20 Christmas movies, travelling twice to Germany and meeting up with my dad and some friends and enjoying the most delicious Gluehwein, to going to several Christmas markets in Oslo, hosting the awesomest Christmas party & enjoying a delicious final brunch with my roomies before they go home for Christmas – it’s been a good few weeks!
And one of my favorite moments occurred yesterday when a coworker who is not even on my team came over to my desk and presented me with a Christmas gift. She goes: “I saw it and all I could think was ‘Dominique'” It’s funny that she said that, but this is another story: Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to speak to one of my coworkers in Norwegian for a few minutes every morning – just to practice my non-existent vocabulary. This one coworker who gave me the gift sits closeby and has been following my *fancy* Norwegian interactions from the start. One of the days when I was lacking a word to describe the weather, she goes: “It’s koselig, use koselig – it works for everything.” Since then, any day – rain or shine – when my coworker and I have a conversation, the word koselig is included, no matter in what sense. Afterall, koselig can be anything you set your mind to be. 😀 And do you want to know what my Christmas present ended up being? A Christmas themed baking spatula, 😀 – I LOVE it. It’s probably going to be included in my Top 5 gifts of all time just because it’s so random, unexpected and from a person who didn’t even talk to me for the first month I worked here. It’s official: I am starting to make friends at work!! Wohoo!!!
Bonus koselig story 1: Last week during one of our 30 minutes lunches, I joined a new group of coworkers at the table and we spent 15 minutes out of the 30 minutes lunch discussing candles, their different types and how they make everything so ‘koselig’ 😀 – No, this is not a madeup story. This happened in real life.
Bonus koselig story 2: The company that manages the train service from Oslo to the airport published this on their FB page yesterday. “Starting December 22nd to December 26th, any Santa riding the train does not have to pay for their ticket.” Well – guess who’s wearing a Santa hat this Sunday!
Bonus koselig story 3: So grateful to have awesome friends all around in Europe. Yesterday morning at 7AM, I thought I would be celebrating Christmas alone this year. Yesterday morning at 8AM, I had booked a ticket to go spend the next few days with Ines’ family in Vienna! I cannot wait. Granted I will still miss my family, but I am so happy I will be around friends this week 🙂
Cheers everyone. God Jul og kos dere ❤