The weather outside this December has been frightful.
And as much as the fire has been delightful, sometimes keeping warm and cosy and happy in winter means more than just a temperature change.
I find these winter months difficult. I don’t like short days. I don’t like unrelentingly grey skies. I don’t like my skin turning a weird purple, red, blue colour when I misjudge how many layers I need to wear. I don’t like how easily the dreary darkness of outside creeps inside my mind. And I don’t like de-icing my car. (I really, really don’t like forgetting that I’m going to need to de-ice my car and the five minutes of panic that follows as I desperately try and make it so I can see out of the windscreen and actually get to work on time.)
So, yeah. Not a massive winter fan.
But winter is happening here in the Northern hemisphere whether I’m a fan of it or not (rude, right?) so I figured this year I’d at least try to be a bit more enthusiastic about it.
Here are some of my winter warmers:
cuppas. Cups of tea are an integral part of my life all year round, but cold weather definitely ups the cuppa stakes. Plus, winter is the perfect excuse for a cheeky hot chocolate (maybe with a splash of Bailey’s thrown in too).
people. Spending time with the people that make your heart happy is pretty much the answer to all of life’s problems, always.
stories. In whatever format – whether it’s a TV series, a film, or a book – being swept off to galaxies far, far away; parallel worlds; seventies California, etc. puts a rainy English winter in its little old place. At the moment, I’m watching and loving the adaptation of His Dark Materials on the BBC, reading and loving Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and I’m so so looking forward to the new Star Wars film.
twinkle, twinkle. Sparkly lights, sparkly tops, sparkly eye-shadow, sparkly hairspray, sparkly hopes and dreams, sparkly and wonderful people – sparkling, shimmering, shining, glittering stuff keeps the cold, grey darkness of December days at bay. Sparkle up your life. Jingle all the way. Let it glow let it glow let it glow.
jack frost. Frosty mornings are pretty to look at, even if they do mean I have to de-ice my car. *supresses eye twitch* I don’t know why a little layer of ice makes the world seem magical and fairytale-esque, but it somehow does. And anything that makes the world seem more magical is worth celebrating.
furry friends. Cuddling a cat (or any pet) is one of the best medicines for curing the winter blues.
knitwear. Cocooning myself in layers of knitwear, snug as a bug in a rug, is one of my favourite things about winter and is pretty much the only thing I miss about it when it’s summer time. It’s one of life’s top comforts for me, physically and mentally. I feel safe (100% aware of how silly that sounds) as well as cosy when I’m swamped in an XXL men’s jumper.
eat, drink, be merry. Life is too short to worry about the calorie content of mince pies and mulled wine. Way, way too short. This year, I’m all in.
planning ahead/adventures. Having things to look forward to and adventures to go on – whether they’re big or teeny-tiny small – are nice distractions from the symptoms of cabin fever that can creep in at this time of year. They’re like stepping stones of hope leading all the way to spring.
starry, starry night. Winter offers some of the best night skies of the year and staring at the stars is always a good idea.
creating. Write an epic poem. Sew a shopper bag. Knit a Dr Who length scarf. Make a Christmas decoration. Bake a massive cake. Concoct a new cocktail. Build a bookshelf. Play an instrument. Invent a new board game. Paint a picture. Paint a wall. Being stuck inside is one of the best excuses to make something/catch up with projects we would all be too busy skipping dreamily through sun-drenched meadows of buttercups and daisies to get around to otherwise.
something new. Trying new things is always good for the soul, even if it’s simply testing out a new cookie recipe or reading a different genre of book – getting those little grey cells going helps keep those big grey clouds from taking over.
*stops and stares morosely at the darkness outside*
I think it’s definitely time for that mince pie and glass of mulled wine.
♦ What’s your favourite time of year? ♦ What are your favourite things about winter? ♦ Have you got any book/film/TV recommendations to distract from the cold weather? ♦