Embracing Winter and its charm

Embracing Winter and its charm

I don’t remember a time in my childhood or adolescence when I disliked the cold months of winter. I actually loved it. Snowboarding was a weekend must, as was tobogganing, snow forts, hikes in the forest, hot chocolate by the fire, Winter festivals, and snowfalls in general. As a Canadian, it’s an obvious part of our cyclical way of life - yet as I became an adult I dreaded Winter and the darkness (both externally and internally). As with many, I longed to leave Canada during this time to seek the warmth of other climates. But why did I suddenly feel like I dreaded winter and what changed? For the simple fact that others did. I thought sharing in the misery of a common thing was what I was supposed to do at the water cooler. I didn't do this intentionally, I just slowly started feeling like I too hated the cold so I must hate everything that comes with it.

I have thankfully overhauled my way of thinking, in recent years. I didn't want to hate 5 months of every year in Ontario seasonal living. And now I look forward to winter, just as I do for all seasons and their unique gifts. The anticipation of the change in seasons is sometimes half the fun. I want to look forward to all of the seasons and embrace what they have to offer. Life is so much more magical when you can find that piece of it that makes you smile. Seasons do this for me.

Winter is a time when I can delight in simplicity as an acceptable social practice. After the holidays, I can fully dive into my introverted nature and be a self-proclaimed bear in hibernation. Summer is beautiful but so full of plans and outward interactions. Winter is quiet and slow, like snow melting off a roof into icicles. It brings me joy to savour comfort, much like how we embody delighting in the holiday season. When we think of the holidays, we find joy in delicious food, gathering with loved ones, setting the tone with ambiance, and the magic of snow. Why is it that as soon as January 2nd hits, we forget everything we just experienced? I enjoy Winter like I do the holidays, extended to every day until the weather warms and I prepare for spring.

It's the first week in January and I'm so content with its offerings. As I'm typing this, I'm in a knitted sweater, I have a taper beeswax candle burning, and my Cobblestone Winter playlist is playing. I couldn't be more in my element. I'm sharing a few other things that make me feel really good during winter, in hopes that it may help you love this season just as much.

A few things I'm looking forward to this Winter:

  • Winter recipes of stews, roasts, and comfort foods - hearty belly-filling meals. Any recipe with stomach pleasing spices or root vegetables is on the top of my list right now. I recently made a batch of Rosemary Pumpkin Vegetable Soup and I froze it in jars to enjoy over the season.

  • Switching to thicker blankets in my house as much as I can, to knits, quilts, and wool. The first thing I do when I anticipate new seasons is change over my fabrics! My bed, my armchairs, and my sofa (every surface I can for that matter) are adorned with a blanket to anticipate the warmth it can bring us on cold evenings.

  • Winter wardrobe. Knitted sweaters, need I say more? I change over my wardrobe every season for the pure joy of it. I love preparing for seasons and anticipating transitions, and one of the ways I do this is through my wardrobe. My floral spring blouses turn into breathable linen in summer, then durable plaid in fall, finishing with the comfiest sweaters over the winter.

  • Winter campfires or lighting the fireplace. A crackling fire brings warmth to my heart. I love being warmed by this simple and natural way. Something about it makes me feel so human. The glow lights up the immediate area, I can warm by self and my food on it, and it's nature's television.

  • Hot beverages. I like them in all forms, all year long, but winter allows for them to shine. Hot chocolat, mulled wine, and of course tea. I love them all.

  • Bundling up to go on an outdoor adventure. Remember when you were young and you would put on those snow pants, scarves, mitts, boots, and hats to head out for fun? What happened to those bundled-up days? Winter hikes, walks, and general adventuring are so much fun. Breathing in the crisp air, smelling the fresh pine, and hearing birds chirping on the backdrop of noise dampened forest is an unmatched gift from nature.

  • Snow! Its beauty and its outdoor activities. Snowboarding, tobogganing, etc, etc. Snow brings out the childlike play that's in all of us.

  • Winter sunsets are so beautiful. There's something about the bareness of Winter and the reflecting snow that make for sunsets worth taking in.

  • The quiet that an evening snowfall brings. Snow is a natural sound dampener and there is nothing quite like the silence it brings. A busy suburban backyard can easily feel like the middle of nowhere on a fresh snowfall evening.

  • Slowing down in Winter is generally more accepted. Understanding of slowness is expected in Winter, something about the cold makes it "allowed", and I embrace it fully.


Winter has the perfect elements of inviting intentional hibernation. All of which I love all year round, as Ryan my husband can attest to. What learning to love Winter taught me, is that I can easily change my perspective of a situation when I change the narrative. Something I used to dislike is now (again) something I love, with a simple change in perspective.

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