Today I’m sharing 10 (surefire) ways to welcome winter. What, you aren’t a winter person? I suspect this post is just what Frosty ordered to help you see the weeks ahead in a different light.
Yes, in the northern hemisphere, the first day of winter arrives this Saturday. December 21 is winter solstice, the shortest day of the year (and the longest night). I celebrate the beginning of each season, but winter solstice feels particularly special to me—as magical as that first snowfall of the year.
Soon, we will begin to notice more light.
Gardeners and farmers in particular rejoice in this, (not that I’m omniscient in my knowledge of gardeners or farmers, or anyone for that matter)…
Welcoming winter with peace and grace is the perfect way to end the year and welcome the next. And I truly believe the quiet, positive energy we give off radiates to those around us.
Yes, I know some people wish they could blink their eyes and be transported to spring. But I think we can all agree that without the cold winter, spring blossoms wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful.
So here we go. Pull on your mittens and fuzzy hat and let’s properly welcome winter this year.
10 Ways to Welcome Winter
1. Watch the sunrise.
Sunrise is my favorite time of day. That moment when day breaks from night, we have another chance to be better. And our chances are numbered. Join me and watch the sun come up on the new day, the new winter.
Ô, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.
2. Decorate a Solstice Tree.
Select a tree in your yard (or in the woods) and decorate it for the birds. String berries and popcorn along the branches using twine that can later be claimed for spring nest-building. Hang dried orange and apples slices, pinecones dipped in peanut butter and rolled in seed. Watch the birds come.
In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.
3. Go for a Silent Walk.
Bundle up and go for a walk—a long walk in the woods or in your town or across the fields. Notice nature where it lives and hovers and settles. Listen to your thoughts. Concentrate on the sound your footsteps make against the brittle leaves and sleeping soil. Watch your breath curl into the cold. Notice the bones of the landscape around you. The earth provides perspective if we look and see.
I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
4. Bring Nature Inside.
During your silent walk, collect bits of nature to bring into your home. Decorate your mantel or create a still-life arrangement for your tabletop. Twigs, berry-laden branches, evergreen fir boughs, pinecones, dried hydrangea—nature provides beautiful winter decor.
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth
find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
5. Light Candles.
Solstice is about light, the rebirth of the sun. The religious equate the coming of Christ with the light of the world.
I wonder if I can go the entire day of solstice without turning on the lights, using candles instead?
Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.
Step inside a good book and let the words feed your soul. I believe that every book we read, connects us not only to the author of the book, but also to all the other readers of that book. And connection provides kinship and helps build empathy.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends;
they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
7. Build a fire.
Fire warms body, mind, and spirit. As you stare into the flames, inhale the familiar smell and listen to the crackle of the burn. Tap into the most primitive type of nostalgia.
If you don’t have an indoor fireplace or an outside fire pit? Create the illusion of one. Shabbyfufu.com has a creative way to do this!
Keep a little fire burning; however small, however hidden.
8. Eat hearty!
Welcome winter with foods that satiate. Bake bread. Make a pot of stew. Add heavy cream to your coffee. Warm your insides with favorites and be grateful for every taste because…
Winter is coming.
9. Drink mulled wine.
…or hot tea or spice cider or the most decadent cocoa you can whip together. Tis the season for warmth. Draw that warmth deep into your belly.
If we sip the wine, we find dreams coming upon us out of the imminent night.
Take a nap. Meditate. Pray. Listen to soothing music. Do whatever calms you.
When the sun disappears into night, go to bed early without watching television, without news or the racket of the day. Dream beneath piles of soft quilts and downy blankets.
Sleep in heavenly peace.
—John Freeman Young
How will you welcome winter?
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.