Really? How to enjoy winter? Are you serious?!
Yes, yes I am. I am unashamedly in love with wintertime. For years it has been my favorite season. And today I’m going to let you in on a few of my winter-loving secrets.
❄️ Choose to think well of winter. For many, liking winter can simply be a mind game. When you choose to like something, guess what? You might end up actually enjoying it! When I was younger, I decided that I was going to like winter–and ta-da!–it became my favorite.
It’s a similar concept to something I’ve discovered with my naturally curly hair. When someone compliments my hair, they invariably follow-up with a comment like: but you probably don’t like it, since people with straight hair want curly and vice versa. But I am quick to reassure them: no, I actually really like my hair! Years ago, I decided since I was stuck with curly hair, I might as well like it and learn to work with it to its best potential, and I learned to truly appreciate my hair. It’s the same with winter. If you must live through it every year, then instead of powering through miserably, you might as well decide to and figure out how to enjoy it.
❄️ Get outside. In the freezing cold? That’s right! One of the best ways to enjoy the cold is to have fun in it! Make sure you invest in proper winter gear and then get yourself (and your family) outside. Some ideas: go for a walk, ice skate, walk around a cute downtown with a cup of something hot, sled, or just take a simple walk around your neighborhood.
This new year of 2021 I am committing to walk outside for one mile every day. Not simply for the exercise–although that is an added benefit–but mostly to challenge myself to get outside for fresh air. I’m a cozy homebody who typically doesn’t mind being cooped up inside for days on end, but fresh air does wonders for my mood and emotions and soul. Winter weather is not going to stop me! Rain or shine, I shall be getting myself outside.
❄️ Sparkly coziness. We cleaned up our Christmas decor this week (yes, I love to leave it up for forever) but kept out some white sparkly lights to leave up on the mantle for a couple more months. Creating a cozy atmosphere in our home is one of my very favorite things about wintertime. The feelings of warmth, ambiance, and comfort are unique to this season; let’s celebrate and capitalize on this unique gift cold weather brings to us. Light a candle every evening (and in the morning too!), make a fire in the fireplace just for fun, put a cozy blanket near every couch or comfy chair, and purchase a heated mattress cover for your bed (I think this is a must-do!). Cozy up with those you love! It’s winter’s gift to you.
And don’t forget a mug of something hot! Drinking warm drinks is one of my favorite things about wintertime. I usually start the day with a cup of decaf coffee. And then I move on to my assortment of hot teas. Hot chocolate is reserved for very special occasions. There’s just nothing like sitting down by the fireplace with my Bible, a journal, and a delicious mug of something hot.
❄️ Special activities. In the summer, most families tend to be on the go, traveling, busy with sports, and spending time outside, but winter brings us inside together. As a family, we’ve been playing a lot more board games together, hide-and-go-seek inside in the dark, paint-by-numbers, reading books, and doing puzzles. I found a spot for my puzzle card table and I’m going to keep a 1000-piece puzzle going until March. Also, watching a series together is fun: my husband and I watched “The Lord of the Rings” movie series recently and I just started reading through the books again. Something new we’re going to try is crafting gluten-free sourdough bread. Believe me: it helps to have something to look forward to for those quiet, dreary weeks–create your own special family fun.
Those are a few of my secrets. I hope you are encouraged to enjoy winter a bit more as we navigate these cold months.
Perhaps most important, don’t forget to notice the beauty of wintertime (yes, it really does have its own beauty) and make an effort to practice gratitude for even this part of God’s creation. There is a serene quiet winter brings to our souls–a time for rest, reflection, and rebuilding. The beauty of spring cannot burst forth without the hidden work of winter. So don’t let the cold months go to waste; enjoy the crisp air, the coziness, and the beauty of a snow-covered landscape. Thank Jesus for His wonderfully designed creation and for the work He can do in our hearts in winter.
Winter photographs from my talented sister, Jess Bernier Photography