Winter…is not my favorite season. It’s actually my fourth favorite.
Sometimes–especially when we don’t want to influence our children in a negative manner–we have to put on a show. We might have to pretend that we actually like winter. That we embrace winter for the role it plays in our lives. That the multiple snowstorms and lack of sunshine and inability to spend much time in the great outdoors does not aggravate the very core of our being. That I have not thought of moving to Florida several times already this week.
And so, I pretend a bit.
I pretend we’re part of a great adventure while sledding on the mini hills in the park across the street. I hygge the heck out of our home with candles and fires and cozy blankets and new slippers. I use the term “chilly” rather than “bitterly cold” when we head outdoors.
It’s not all snow angels and sleigh rides and gathering round the fireplace over here. I’ve lost my patience about putting on mittens, snow boots, coats, hats, scarves more than once.
But the thing is: once you start pretending for someone else, it becomes easier to believe it yourself. Winter might not be all bad. Here’s the evidence I’ve found to support this thought:
Reading Winter Books
Little daughter loves cuddling up on the sofa with a big stack of books, and I am not one to deny this hygge-type activity. We’ve been loving Snowy Day and Winter and Katy and the Big Snow. We also love the winter section of this poetry book, particularly the one titled “Sick” (her choice, not mine). Nana got us this book for Christmas, which has been so much fun as we explore all the birds coming to nibble around our home. (bonus: reading is a warm activity taking place under blankets, appreciating the snow/wind/winter from a distance!)
Making Winter Decorations
We used white paper and daughter’s new scissors to make snowflakes for our windows. This is an extremely simple (once you master all the folds) and cheap activity, but she is so proud to show them off to visiting family and friends. And they do add a nice bit of cheer to our home.
I set up a little winter display on her seasonal shelf with a pale blue play silk as the base. We put some of her winter books here, along with some nature items and a small cardinal and bunny. (bonus: the play silk doubled perfectly for pretend water when celebrating Jesus’ baptism at Theophany!)
We made these lovely ornaments this week after our little warm spell (50 degrees, I love you!). They were a great activity for little ones: cutting, pouring, putting things in and out of muffin tins. We hung these up on our front porch, but I’m already planning more to hang around the yard. Fortunately our weather has been so cold I believe these will last quite some time! (look at me embracing the cold!) Also brilliant suggestion for making ice lanterns, too!
Bird feeders are wonderful this time of year, and practical as well as decorative. We made some pinecone feeders in the fall, and we might take a go at making more soon. We were also gifted some bird feeders and are currently waiting for our bird friends to find and love them!
Baking & Cooking Winter Foods
We baked up a big batch of gingerbread cookies a few weeks ago. Josephine was enamored with using the cookie cutters, and particularly loved the mitten and rocking horse shapes. We’re planning to make another batch soon. (the ginger part makes me feel like they are healthier than plain sugar cookies, right?)
We’ve also been cooking more potatoes and root vegetables lately, too. The other week we made a mix of roasted carrots, beans, and squash and it was amazing! Roasted at 425 for about 30 minutes (adjust based on size and texture of your veggies) I think this salt made all the difference in flavor; so good!
When I look back over this post it seems like winter might actually be…enjoyable. So grateful to be in this stage of life where I’m focusing on positive growth and learning for my daughter. Sometimes we do these things for our children, and suddenly realize it’s what we needed all along, too.
What have you found to help make winter lovely for your family? Is winter a more favorite season for you already?