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  • Writer's pictureMaple Creek

Purposefully Enjoying Winter

In my childhood, I did not enjoy the long dark evenings and stormy grey clouds of winter. Recently though, I have been reflecting on how different my perspective is these days. Sure, living in the South inevitably means a shorter and milder winter overall, but it has also occurred to me that instead of wishing away grey skies, the season is much more enjoyable when I purposefully lean into and choose to intentionally appreciate it for what it is.


A girl wearing a grey coat with the hood on.

For the first couple weeks of January, my social media feed was filled with people lamenting how sad their homes felt without cheery holiday decor.

There's nothing that cheers me up more than a clean and organized space. Wipe down surfaces, throw away items you no longer like or need, rearrange your furniture, then consider adding some 'winter' decor to spruce up your space: put branches or twigs from your yard in a favorite vase, add a pillow (or pillow cover) in a deeper color or warmer texture (flannel, velvet, cable knit) or toss a cozy blanket on your couch.


Warm clothes on the outside.

I know that nobody can convince a teenage boy to swap out shorts for pants when the temperature dips, but that doesn't mean you have to dress like one! Wear a cozy sweater and a wind/rain-proof jacket (all you need is one!) and layer when you go outside. It sounds ridiculous, but especially when working in the elements, my layering often goes like this: tank top, long sleeve shirt, sweater or hoodie, vest or jacket (sometimes both!). On the bottom, I often wear leggings under my jeans. And: don't forget two pairs of socks, gloves, and a hat. There is nothing worse than being cold - this will allow you to remove a layer if you get hot later.


Warm food on the inside.

And by food, I mean warm, nourishing, comfort food. Baked oatmeal, loaded baked potatoes, stew with warm crusty bread, spaghetti and meatballs, chili and cornbread, apple pie...the options are endless. Food has a unique way of filling your belly and your heart when the weather is particularly garish.


Embrace indoor activities.

This if anything, has been the biggest struggle for our family. The kids love jumping in their little pool on hot summer days and riding their bikes every chance they get. This winter, it has been fun to encourage them to think about their toys and hobbies differently. Set up an impromptu ping pong game on a folding table, read a book by the fire or pull out a long-forgotten board game on a chilly evening.


Even our dog, who greatly enjoys being outside seems to like napping on a warm blanket near her family. A fire flickers in the woodstove and a hot cup of coffee sits beside me. The kids are down the hall playing "keepy-uppy" with a balloon. It's winter, and I am enjoying every bit of it this year. Soon, the days will be longer, the sky will be blue, and our seedlings will stretch out toward the sun. I know I'll love those days too.



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