Welcome to the first day of winter! As one who grew up on the West Coast and now resides in a snowy region, the idea of welcoming winter has taken some getting used to over the years. But as with any situation, blooming where we’re planted and expressing an attitude of gratitude make all the difference. And so I dedicate this post to anyone whose favorite season is spring, summer, or fall, and anyone who enjoys the chilly blasts of air that make winter so unforgettable for West Coast transplants living in snowy regions.

Ah, winter. For me, this season evokes images of snow-covered trees, mugs of steaming hot chocolate, scraping ice off the windshield and shoveling snow (this can be hard work!), and never leaving home without the gloves until April (or May, in some years). My West Coast friends remember snow skiing in Lake Tahoe, enjoying Christmas on the beach in San Diego, and walking on styrafoam snowflakes used by some Christmas tree lots to create winter wonderlands. And friends from the Midwest and the East Coast recall snow days spent with friends; ice skating in downtown Chicago, New York, and Boston; and snowball fights and sledding galore. Regardless of where you reside, today is the perfect time to consider how you’d like to enjoy this winter. As I’ve learned in recent years, it doesn’t matter how you think you feel about this season called winter. It’s here for awhile so we might as well identify some fun ways to enjoy it. Grab a mug of cocoa, a notepad and pen, and an afghan, and let’s get started!

  • Consider your daily routine in the winter and identify how you want to mix things up a bit. Do you want to be adventurous? Travel? Read all of those books stacked on your night table? Be NetFlix’s best customer?
  • Discover the great indoors. Museums, independent or art film theaters, community playhouses, and library reading rooms are great places to discover this holiday season and all winter long. A trip to your local library will likely net you DVDs, good reads, and museum passes. For free. What are you waiting for? Root around for that library card, and let the fun begin!
  • Don’t give in to the suggestion of the winter blahs. If you want to express vitality, productivity, and activity this winter identify the projects you wish to tackle and the activities you wish to do, roll up your sleeves, and get started. Schedule time to do said activities, follow through, and productivity will ensue.
  • Take time for yourself this winter. Carve out some time each day for reflection, prayer, contemplation, or quiet. Moments of stillness are always a good idea. This winter and year-round.

Wishing you a winter filled with laughter, hot cocoa, good reads, thought-provoking films, and a snowball fight or two if you live in a region in which styrofoam snowflakes are unnecessary.

* Photo by Alfred Borchard

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