Today marks the beginning of a new message series that we’re calling, Family Matters: Bring Home The Hygge.
As you may remember from last year’s holiday messages, hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a sense of comfort, coziness, and togetherness that just makes you feel good about life. According to Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and author of The Little Book of Hygge, “you know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right. It is about gratitude and savoring the simple pleasures in life. In short, it is the pursuit of everyday happiness” (Harper Collins Publ’rs 2017, Back Cover).
Last year’s message series was about the spiritual comfort God brings us during the holiday season through the gift of his Son. The premise of the series we begin today is that we also can bring the comfort and healing of hygge when we spend time with our families this holiday season. Indeed, the holidays are a time for hope and strength nurtured within the safety and comfort of our families.
Our hope is to take you on an old-fashioned family road trip. When you go home for the holidays—whether that means actually traveling somewhere or simply welcoming loved ones to your home—we want you to bring the comfort, coziness, and well-being of hygge with you. Think of the series as a kind of travelogue.
In the first week, we’ll help you prepare emotionally and spiritually for the family gatherings that will take place at Christmastime. In the second week, the message will explore the need for forgiveness and reconciliation in some of our family relationships. We’ll also encourage you to work together as a family during the holidays to do something for the poor, because service to others brings healing to ourselves.
We’ll also take time to remember to be fully present to our loved ones during the holiday season, blessing them with our care and attention and God’s love and peace. In the fifth and final week, we’ll take a look at how we can send the coziness, warmth, and love of hygge home with our loved ones, as they go back to their busy lives having been renewed and restored by the healing power of the love of family.
As we bring home the hygge this holiday season, we’ll also remember families in Haiti who live in makeshift shacks and long for safe homes. With our partner, Cross Catholic Outreach, we will seek to raise $6,000 to put one family in a sturdy, four-room home.
So, come along for the ride this Advent and Christmas seasons, as we Bring Home The Hygge.
--Father Roger Gustafson, Pastor
Father Roger Gustafson