Monday, January 2, 2012

Winter Becomes Us

In the depths of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible
summer. ~Albert Camus
I have no quarrel with winter and I love that January's promise is to begin anew. Winter is a time of thoughtful reflection to prepare for the renewal that occurs in spring. Thus, I have created the following list which may help in appreciating the beauty of the season.
  • Spend some time outdoors even if its just a bracing moment or two before bed on the front porch, taking in the special star show that can only be seen on clear crisp winter nights.
  • Stay cozy with warm woolen throws at the ready: on the bed to pull up for an extra layer at night, and near your favorite reading nook for quick naps. Having throws can help still a housebound household as everyone settles in under their favorite blanket.
  • Drink tea and make it a winter ritual by laying out a lovely tray with fruit and one perfect cookie each afternoon.
  • Practice at-home yoga with a DVD. The gentle stretches and poses will help keep you warm and will aid in weight control through the cold winter months.
  • Make healthy suppers after work by planning ahead with shopping menus. Eating well is so much easier when one knows ahead what is to be made and that the ingredients are on hand. Use a crockpot so that meals cook during the day and are ready at homecoming. Cook healthful soups and take leftovers for lunch the next day.
  • Set the table at night using the beauty of candles for illumination and atmosphere. Have your homecooked meals at the dinner table and make it a daily pleasure and ritual to lay out your china and glassware.
  • Have a "caring hour" each evening before bed. Indulge yourself with warming baths and luxurious body creams. Spray a little scent on your pillows. Try a new eye or throat cream.
  • Make an effort to wear soft and warm nightclothes, matching pajamas sets, and pretty woolen socks. Have a favorite robe to slip into as you relax before a fire, quietly making your list of weekly menus. If you do not have a favorite robe, wear a soft pretty cardigan over your pajamas. Winter is not a time to give up on beauty.
  • Have an attractive pair of foul weather boots that are also waterproof and cozy. Having the right "equipment" for dealing with challenging weather can make a big difference in how we perceive the season. Keep your snow brushes and scrapers in the same place for quick access on icy mornings too.
  • Wear hats. It's been said that most body heat is lost from the top of the head and not being afraid to wear hats will make for a much more comfortable winter. Keep hat hair at bay with some hair care items in your "candybox" at work.
  • In winter's depth, let your wardrobe reflect the outdoor landscape by wearing icy pastels in merino wools and cashmeres. Garnish your sweaters with favorite silver jewelry or the incandescense of pearls. Put away your browns and moss greens and opt for illuminating blues, greys, creams, and lilacs.
  • Cherish the nights when the weather is too stormy to go out. Watch a parade of films that feature lovely feminine fashion and style such as Love in a Cold Climate, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Being Julia, Tea with Musssolini. Rent series of movies from the library that you've missed out on because of warm weather activies.
  • Drink lots of water. I dry out much quicker in the winter and having a glass of water with lime or lemon nearby replenishes and restores me. I also keep bottles of mineral water in the ice box and pour myself a glass to sip while I am making dinner after work.
  • Indulge in books. Winter is a perfect time to borrow those large decorating books from the library. Pour over them on Saturday afternoons looking for inspiration and ideas for spring projects.
  • Believe in the power of hibernation to reflect on what's really important in your life. These quiet frozen days will lead to your spring ressurection when the earth again wakes and blossoms. So, too, can you, if you have laid the groundwork through these thoughtful, quiet winter months and used them not only to plan but also to indulge and pamper yourself with thoughtful care, healthy homecooking, and a contemplative lifestyle. When it is crystalline without, yet serene within, you will see that winter becomes you!

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  1. Just love this post, Donna!!! So utterly appealing on so many levels! Thanks for sharing this list of winter suggestions and I plan to take you up on them. Especially love the idea of having attractive coldweather, where did I put those boots....?
    Hugs, Kay

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  3. Thank you Dynamicdreamz....It really inspires me to hear from readers. Thank you for taking the time.