In Defense of Domesticity | Crisis Magazine

The secret to enjoying life, then, is to see it as something to be enjoyed—at times even endured—with others, ideally with family. Home makes all the difference.

Source: In Defense of Domesticity – Crisis Magazine

A lot of my posts lately have been (unavoidably, I fear) somewhat negative. But no matter how stark and depressing things may appear, one cannot live constantly on edge. Not and retain one’s sanity! Here is a post that is both intrinsically more positive, and which also provides hints for practicing the self-care that is essential to being effective in opposing those things that we believe are unhealthful for our society. Domesticity is, in many ways, the root of our strength – second only to faith in God!

“The Norwegian secret to enjoying a long winter is to see the freezing months as something to be enjoyed, not something to be endured. According to a seeker of human happiness, this makes all the difference. They even have a word, koselig, which means a sense of coziness. People gather around the table for a good meal, light candles, sip hot cocoa, and snuggle under fuzzy blankets. The Dutch call it gezelligheid, the experience of belonging, spending time with loved ones, a general sense of well-being and togetherness. The Danish word is hygge. Sitting by the crackling fire with your family on a cold night, reading to your son as he cuddles in your lap, Christmas gatherings … you get the idea. Although it’s usually translated as ‘coziness,’ it’s much more than that. It’s an attitude toward life, a way of being. And real coziness is not possible apart from a love and respect for homemaking…

“You can’t buy community, and you can’t fake it, either. An absent father can’t randomly gather his family around the fireplace and expect everyone suddenly to be cozy. Real koselig takes more than warm bodies in close proximity and sheepskin slippers. Like anything worth doing, authentic coziness takes work: prior investment in relationships, domestic chores, food-prep, caring—in a word, housekeeping. But it’s worth it. In the doldrums of a dark winter, family nights, social gatherings, and dinner parties are a reminder that we’re all in this together.

“I want to suggest that koselig reminds us of what we live for—friends, to be sure, but primarily the home. It reminds us that homelessness is a tragedy. And home reminds us of the priority of the family. We’re not just “social creatures.” Society does not conceive us, and nurse us, and love us. We’re not like baby sharks, either. We don’t just swim away from our mothers after we’re born. We are family creatures, and we were made for more than homelessness. Like koselig, you can’t buy a family, and running a home takes work. But it’s worth it. The secret to enjoying life, then, is to see it as something to be enjoyed—at times even endured—with others, ideally with family. Home makes all the difference.”

Please read the entire article. There is much of wisdom and encouragement to be found therein!