Winter can be a cozy time

When the weather suddenly changes to “winter” I want to gather up everything to make a cozy “nest” to wait out the cold weather.  My dad used to say that I was“ hunkering down”  for the long haul. This whole thing about gathering in is not a bad idea, I mean the squirrels gather acorns and other nuts so they don’t have to go out looking for food in the middle of winter, bears hibernate but that another thing altogether, though it sounds like a good idea on some days. Here are some things to get you started when the cold hits.

Start with gathering in some greens, it is the time of the year for getting ready for the holidays but greens are good for all winter, think of them as natural air fresheners. You can easily find small live evergreen trees at garden centers, even at the grocery stores. Combine several together in a repurposed container placing them around your home to create a nice woodsy wintery feel. The fresh smell alone will make you feel you are in the great outdoors without having to actually go out!  Keep these little trees alive all winter and plant them outside come spring or gift them to someone with larger space. Pots of living plants add to the cozy feel, herbs brought in are good in the kitchen. Paper-White narcissus are easily grown and have lovely white fragrant flowers.

If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace be sure you have plenty of wood on hand, fireplaces are the best!

The wintery setting is nice but now search out items for comfort. Quilts, afghans and blankets are good to curl up in as you settle into your cozy space. There are fun granny-square afghans, very retro, and original quilts to be found at vintage shops if you don’t have some tucked away in Granny’s attic. This is a good time to gather up some wool scarves and mufflers with matching hats, and those vintage sweaters we would refer to today as “ugly” sweaters, particularly the Christmas ones, which were the height of fashion a good 30-plus years ago.

Food is essential if you’re going to stay in. Fill your pantry with favorite comfort foods, have the fixings to make a great pot of soup and invite friends over. Plan an outing, all bundled up, walk, skate, ski even or bike if there is no snow or ice, then come back in to warm up. Better yet start with soup and then bundle with those sweaters and mufflers you’ve gathered and go out and make s’more around a camp fire or your grill! Warm up with some spiked cider. Baking is another surefire way to make things feel cozy, tasty and smells great too and particularly nice to have on hand on a snow day.

While you are now warm and fed it’s time to catch up reading or watching movies, pick a decade, for example, the 1970s and choose something from the top-10 list. Movies are great way to enjoy staying in, pop some corn, sit back and enjoy an old flick.

Look for a new hobby to try, painting, knitting, crochet — how about macramé? There are books out to learn from, or YouTube, though how about trying to learn the way it was before the digital age. Drawing and sketching can be fun, even see if you can find and old Etch-A-Sketch to try. Jigsaw puzzles have always been available, some more challenging than others, you might find some at garage sales as well as your vintage shops. There is much more out there to do, find some time while you are gathered all in out of the cold.

Winter will not last forever even if it begins to feel like it is; spring will eventually arrive and while you have been snug and cozy you can start to look thru the seed catalogs and dream about planting a garden or window boxes, look for heirloom seeds and enjoy a bit of vintage style gardening.
Enjoy your winter hideaway but get out and enjoy the fresh air as well, it will make coming back into your space that much more rewarding.^

About Maggie: I have always enjoyed the chance to do a bit of hibernating when winter sets in, using the time for a bit of creativity, to stitch or hook rugs or try some other new craft. I am an avid reader as well and always feel better with a book or two in reserve. My home is filled with things I like to have around me making it a cozy nest. I love to make a pot of soup on a bitter day and have been known to cook on our gas logs in the fireplace when we had an ice storm the caused a power outage. I feel if you gather around you things that make you feel snug and cozy you’ll manage to get through the cold, that of course includes family and friends and a sweet pet if you have one. I hope you enjoy your winter!