how to love winter (or at least help to make it tolerable)

I heard someone on the radio this afternoon talking about winter and how "we all hate winter!" Well, I disagree. I admit that it's a hassle to get everyone into their coats, boots, hats, mittens, and snowpants, and that slush is just really messy, and if you're not properly dressed or prepared, it can be unpleasant and miserable. But there are lots of things to love about winter, and I do a few little things to make it more enjoyable in our house that I thought might be helpful to share.

The best is if it's a pleasant winter day and we can dress really well and go shovelling, sledding, for a walk in the woods, outside in the yard, or just for a picture-taking stroll. The cold air is so refreshing, and it feels so good to come back inside. It keeps the boys' energy levels in check, and if there's snow, they're occupied for hours. (Thinking of the fresh air, you should hang your scarves out on the clothesline for the day. They will smell amazing.)

To address the darkness, we light candles. Always beeswax, some of which I've made, and some which a friend made for us. We light them for candlelight while we eat supper, and I usually have one burning on the stovetop for the evening.

Everyone (myself included) finds it easiest to hunker down inside during the winter, which might mean seeing less of friends and people you genuinely like. So a few years ago, we instituted a midwinter potluck which we host at the end of January. Everyone seems to enjoy having something to look forward to at this time of year, and it's a great way to see everyone, and try some new foods, if you're lucky. It's really one of my favourite days of the year!

Baking serves to warm the house, make it smell amazing, and provides delicious snacks. (And I find it soooo relaxing.) My Dad loves his white bread - this was a batch I made for him before Christmas.

We have a wood stove, and having a fire burning is just so darn cozy. And it warms the house with the most pleasant heat. (If you don't have a wood stove, see the candle suggestion.) That antique trunk is our woodbox. I found it at a yard sale for $5 several years ago, lucky me! Adam usually keeps the fire up and running, since I'm at work during the day, and he keeps the wood box full. Which I appreciate very much.

A couple other little things that I find helpful during these cold months: taking fish oil capsules helps my finicky skin immensely during the winter. I also find I need to exfoliate regularly - you can make a lovely scrub easily and inexpensively. I love using my LuSa Organics lavender lotion bar at night (no one paid me to write that - I just love it!). It's a lovely scent to fall asleep to.

I hope that one of these tips will make your winter a little bit more pleasant!

Edited to add: I can't believe that I forgot the thing that I do every winter to make the last several weeks cheery and to remind me that spring will come again! I always force bulbs and branches. Quince are my favourite! It couldn't be any easier - just stick branches in water. Really! Go forth and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I agree, winter doesn't have to be horrible. I love your midwinter potluck idea!
    And I'm just so jealous of that beautiful stove! If we ever buy a house a black wood stove is one of the non-negotiable necessities :)


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