Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Fifteen Ways to Enjoy Winter

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DSCN8376By January, winter time blues can hit me hard. Christmas lights up December with its cheer and celebration. Then January 1st comes, holding the promise of a brand new year.  All things look bright, but by mid-Janaury, the cheer of Christmas and the novelty of fresh starts are behind me. Winter looms long and dark ahead of us: 72 days until spring!

Lots of people get the blues in January.  Holidays that we looked forward to with anticipation are gone. Real life can look kind of lack luster after celebrations are over. College aged kids who were home go back to school; teachers and students hunker down to work again. Winter itself can be depressing. It gets dark early. Gray days of cold, rainy or snowy weather affect anyone’s mood.

But God created the seasons.

Ecclesiastes 13:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Surely God didn’t intend for winter to depress us! Could winter, with its theme of quiet rest followed by new life and a burst of activity in spring, provide a natural metaphor of God’s order for our lives? I choose to look on winter as a season of rest and refueling for more active days to come in spring. For our family, colder weather means a bit less activity, and earlier sunsets translate into earlier bedtimes.

I want to look for ways to enjoy winter, so here’s my brainstorm list.

Fifteen Ways to Enjoy Winter:

1. Follow nature’s example and get extra sleep on dark winter nights.

2. Choose 1 or 2 good books, and spend free evenings curled up on the couch under a blanket.

3. Drink hot chocolate, apple cider, or tea in a perky mug.

4. Knit a scarf.

5. Make paper snowflakes and decorate a window with them.

6. Make a bird feeder for your yard.

7. Collect pinecones and winter berries to decorate your house.

8. Celebrate winter. Choose a day in January or February to have a small party for no reason at all. Make it a pot luck; you provide the main dish and ask friends or family for salads and desserts.

9. Cook a pot of chili or taco soup for friends.

10. Send handwritten cards out to friends in January if you missed out on sending Christmas cards.

11. Make handmade valentines with your kids in February.

12. Take a class or learn something new.

13. Join a book club.

14. Get outside every day you possibly can. Let the outdoors and light exercise work their magic.

15. Try a sunlamp to combat the winter blues.

I’m blessed to live in an area where winters are mild, but the cloudy days and rain get to me all the same.  What is winter like where you live? Do you have any ideas for enjoying it?

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

9 thoughts on “Fifteen Ways to Enjoy Winter

  1. Waiting for my hot chocolate to heat as I read this…being in the tropics winter means 70 degree temps at night, hoodies and light blankets. But still a change of ‘seasons’ allows one to change up the routine and try to make healthier choices. God bless. Fauche

  2. Yes, Kris! I remember life in the tropics too from my El Salvador days. Good for you for making room in your life for hot chocolate! 🙂 even in the tropics.

  3. A friend of mine threw a “pity party” one winter. It was so funny! She even had the generator going, because the power was out. It really perked us all up.
    We’ve been having lots of sunshine here. Only two inches of rain since July 31st, 2013! The year before was 18 inches! So we’re actually praying for rain. I’m going to post this on a friend’s Facebook wall; she’ll love it!
    Blessings! 🙂

  4. i really like the thought of using these winter months to rest and refresh for the coming busier seasons ahead, Betsy. maybe because i love any excuse to spend more time curled up with a book and a cup of tea! 😀 our temps here have finally dipped – it’s just 77 as i type, and i’m actually feeling chilly!! ahh…what a wonderful respite. i’m off to go find my book…

    • Yes, I remember the joys of “chilly” temperatures in the tropics, a different kind of winter, right? I guess it’s great to celebrate the changing seasons, no matter what they are like.

  5. Great ideas! I agree — getting outside and moving around (even with the chill) has been useful to burn off energy and keep my spirits high. I’ve heard it said that no temperature is too cold if you’re dressed warmly enough. It was -12 where I live this past week, though, so I don’t fully subscribe to that adage, but I agree with the general sentiment!

    A nice pile of books, though? That’s always a great way to help with winter!

    • I had a Swedish friend who said the same, Robin, about being dressed warmly. I agree that it might not always make getting outside a piece of cake, though, especially where you live!

  6. Dear Betsy,

    Thanks for share the ideas and just I see that this is really a blues season, but reading here I can say !!be fun!! to myself…and also some of the ideas that you wrote are exactly the things that I do during winter´s time. By the way…
    Aquí entre nos, nunca conocí el invierno en mi clima tropical 🙂

    I enjoy your link!

    Blessings!

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