My mother’s least favorite season is winter. The season is long where she lives in north Central Minnesota, it’s gray and the closest she can get to gardening is perusing seed catalogs.
So when I made a list last year of ways to savor summer, she kept asking me for ways to savor winter. Summer was easy for her to savor; winter much more challenging. I made that summer list to recognize what a strange year 2020 had been already by May. I didn’t want summer to slip through my fingers like spring had. So I came up with 108 ways to savor the season, one suggestion for each day between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day.
Mom and I sat down together and brainstormed such a winter list. A similar list for winter would require more than 108 ideas for some places (I’m looking at you, Minnesota, ye land of eternal winter) and a lot different ideas for other places (what do you have to say for yourself, Texas?). It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution to the pandemic blues we’re all enduring, but it’s a start.
Sights of Winter
- Watch the snow fall through the window.
- Look for the waves in the snowdrifts.
- See sundogs around the sun.
- Appreciate daylight.
- Look for a cardinal.
- Appreciate the blooms of a Christmas cactus.
- Look for glittering snow.
- Gaze at the Wolf Moon (January full moon).
- Watch Northern Lights.
- Buy a poinsettia.
- Enjoy (or make) an ice sculpture.
- Pick out a winter constellation.
Doings of Winter
- Watch a fire in the hearth.
- Take a twilight walk.
- Snuggle up with a cozy blanket.
- Shovel a snow-covered walk.
- Feel your nose hairs freeze.
- Finish a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.
- Read a book.
- Throw a snowball.
- Wear a hat and scarf.
- Hang Christmas lights (if not on a tree, somewhere).
- Go ice fishing.
- Light a candle.
- Watch a football game.
- Have an indoor picnic.
- Wear at least three layers.
- Enjoy a Christmas movie.
- Play a board game.
- Take up (or practice) a hobby.
- Take a sauna.
- Make a scrapbook.
- Wear a down jacket.
- Plan a vacation.
- Take a nap.
- Watch a comedy.
- Wear long underwear.
- Enjoy a spa day (DIY or professional).
- Knock icicles off the eaves.
- Pay a visit to someone.
- Host a party (even a little one, or a Zoom one).
- Send a care package to someone who needs one.
- Be charitable.
- Enjoy a basketball game.
- Visit a library or bookstore.
- Hang a calendar for the new year.
- Send holiday greeting cards.
Sounds of Winter
- Hear the crunch of snow beneath your boots.
- Listen to the blizzard winds roar.
- Listen to a choir (preferably Christmas carols).
- Read The Night Before Christmas.
Flavors of Winter
- Eat chili.
- Catch a snowflake on your tongue.
- Make potato soup.
- Drink cocoa.
- Eat a broiled grapefruit.
- Make a batch of Christmas cookies.
- Make lefse.
- Enjoy a parsnip soup.
- Prepare a Monte Christo sandwich.
- Turn a frozen food into something delicious.
- Eat squash.
- Drink warm mulled wine.
- Eat chicken noodle soup.
- Drink champagne (maybe at midnight).
- Make a hot toddy.
- Drink a fancy coffee drink.
Scents of Winter
- Smell the pine scent of a Christmas tree.
- Bake gingersnaps.
- Make an all-day batch of rice pudding (with lots of cinnamon and butter).
- Make a winter bonfire.
Welcome winter, friends, or it may turn on you. Any ideas Mom and I might have missed? Please share in the comments.