Mysig (Swedish for cozy).
One thing I love about winter in Swedish is how mysig (cozy) it feels. Well, indoors anyway. I suppose it could feel cozy outside as well if you are all bundled up and walking amid the festively lit streets of Gamla Stan (the old town area). With, of course, a steaming cup of hot chocolate, or better yet, glögg (spiced wine). It is completely opposite to the summers here when there is daylight for most of the twenty-four hours in the day. Quite a change from what I am used to in the US and many people who move here purchase light therapy lamps to help with the adjustment to less daylight hours. Getting extra Vitamin D is important too. The Swedish people combat this by eating lots of eggs and herring, which are loaded with omega 3's and high vitamin D content. My father-in-law eats herring and a hard boiled egg nearly every single day for breakfast.
Unfortunately, herring is not breakfast food for me and I have never really loved hard boiled eggs. I like the white part but the chalky hard yellow... well... nope. Guess I'll just have to take a vitamin and find my omega 3's elsewhere. But anyway, I love the term "mysig." It even feels cozy to say it but contrary to how you may think it is pronounced, it is quite different coming from a Swede's mouth. The "y" is pronounced by saying "eeee" but pursing your lips together like you are going to give a kiss. Now try saying, mysig. It almost comes out like "moosey." But it has nothing to do with a moose. Okay, now that we've had our Swedish pronunciation lesson, we can get back to what mysig can mean for the average person.
A mysig evening can be comprised of anything from lighting lots of candles to soften and illuminate the darkness to sitting on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate or a heavy pour of velvety red wine. Both are very nice and add to the coziness of the candlelight. There is also the fredagsmys, or Friday cozy, which is a celebration of the weekend's arrival and usually has to do with some kind of goodie that you get to eat. It can be potato chips, candy, chocolate, or whatever you decide. The important thing is for everyone to be together, spending a cozy evening enjoying one another's company and some special little treat that you don't normally have on vardagar (regular days of the week).
I would like to propose a Monday cozy (måndagsmys). Mondays are probably more difficult to get through than Fridays because come Monday there are five days between you and the next fredagsmys. Sometimes it can be challenging. Am I right? So, my suggestion is to do something special every Monday evening in December, starting today. Make a cozy evening with your partner or family. Light candles or dimly lit lamps all over the house, make a special warm meal that warms not only your body but your soul too and have one small treat to congratulate yourself on making it through Monday. I strongly recommend homemade hot chocolate. Here is my recipe:
1 heaping teaspoon cocoa powder
1 C milk
1 teaspoon of sugar, or to taste
Warm milk slowly then add cocoa powder while whisking constantly.
Once all the chocolate is dissolved add sugar.
Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!
Ps. I have also made it in the microwave. Heat the milk first, then whisk in the cocoa powder etc.
dark cozy winter afternoon/evening in Stockholm.
A mini cypress Christmas tree in the window. We still haven't decided what to do about a full-size tree... since we have a new addition to the family this year... kitty.