Every autumn the craze begins: Pumpkin Spice Everything! It's become a huge internet joke but it does seem like every year something even weirder comes out with a pumpkin spice version- potato chips, fabric softener, lip balm. We just can't get enough. Why is that? It's just a mix of ordinary spices- nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves. We have most of these in our pantry every day throughout the year. How come as soon as the temperature dips below 65 we suddenly embrace pumpkin spice as if it is a long lost friend? I have a theory about this- the love of pumpkin spice is a form of hygge!
Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a concept I have been practicing for a long time but only recently came across as term to describe it. The word has Scandinavian origins and describes the feeling of contentment and comfortability that comes from ordinary things. An example might be the warmth of a cup of coffee, or the softness of a blanket. When we get to curl up with a good book on a rainy day. These things bring about a great sense of pleasure, but they are nothing extraordinary. It's just coffee, just a blanket, just rain. But when we immerse ourselves in the experience of them, we create beautiful moments of peace and contentment.
A few years ago I started a joke with my friends and family I called "going hardcore." I would make a social media post or invite people over for a holiday or girls night and say that we were going to "go hardcore whatever event we were celebrating" (Ex: Hardcore Birthday, Hardcore Halloween) But in actuality, it would be something kindof lame. Instead of a big party or night out, Hardcore Halloween would just be me eating candy and watching the Family Guy Halloween special. Hardcore Birthday might be a Netflix movie in my pajamas. I'd caption these posts and pics by bragging about how "hardcore" I am. But what it is really about is focusing on enjoying the little things. A Valentine's Day treat of homemade hot cocoa can provide the same amount of joy as an expensive gift or dinner. The soft lighting of a candle can be just as peaceful as an extravagant spa day. My fiance describes me as the "queen of relaxation" but really, I am the queen of hygge.
Which brings me back to pumpkin spice. These simple ingredients come together in just the right measurements at just the right time and suddenly they become one of the most pleasant experiences of fall. So the next time you're feeling in need of some me-time, some relaxation, and some moments of pure peace and tranquility, proudly grab your pumpkin spice latte, and practice a little hygge.