By 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?