Winter seems to be one of those seasons that you either love or hate, and there is not much gray area in between. Growing up in the South, I thought I liked mild winters, because it’s all I had ever known. However, New England winters have taught me otherwise.
Admittedly, I was intimidated to face our first “real winter.” Much of my trepidation came from feeling completely uneducated on things like what to bundle my kids in, how to shovel our way out of our home, and what in the world it meant to winterize my car. Once we figured out these details, I settled in, and, much to my surprise, discovered that I could enjoy winter.
Winter in the Northeast has brought three very special, unexpected gifts to our lives. The Danish have a more extensive list of ways to chase off the wintertime blues — hygge. The list below has kept our family content during the coldest season of the year.
Spring, summer, and fall seem to keep everyone busy with festivals, orchards, and outdoor experiences. Counter to that, winter provides the perfect backdrop to rest. Without as many places to be, inside play on cold days provides an opportunity to bond over puzzles, games, toys, crafts, and indoor picnics with your family. You are granted permission to snuggle up on the couch in your coziest blanket with hot chocolate and take in football and hockey games or movies with your loved ones. Go ahead and spend your snowed-in Saturday in pajamas. Bake cookies and have dance parties that will make memories for a lifetime.
There will be plenty of time to make plans and maintain a busy schedule the rest of the year. Stop and be still in this perfect season for rest.
There is no denying it: New England winters are gorgeous. At times, it can feel like living in a snow globe. Our family has come to love stepping out onto nearby trails to take in the wonder of this season. Icy nature walks reveal beautiful early sunsets along with frozen lakes and even spectacular baby pinecones. Soft snow rests on tree branches that would otherwise be leafless and dull.
I am convinced I will always be giddy watching snowflakes fall, no matter how long I live in the Northeast. I steal as many peeks out the window to watch the soft flakes turn our world a bright white, and after the kids are in bed, I sit in my chair by the window and cannot pull myself away from watching playful flurries drop.
Even if you have lived in Boston your whole life, never take the beauty of snow for granted!
One particularly chilly winter day, I bundled my daughter up and took her to the park for some fresh air. The park we chose was on the shores of a frozen pond. As we looked out onto the pond, we saw families ice fishing, playing hockey, and figure skating. It was something I had never seen before, given my warm climate upbringing. My daughter excitedly asked if we could walk onto the ice. At first I panicked, because I had never walked onto frozen freshwater. I decided that with this much activity on the ice, it must be safe, so I agreed. We only stepped a foot out onto the frozen water, but it was exhilarating! We both laughed as we slipped along holding hands.
This cold season allows for fun, icy happenings, as well as skiing, sledding, and a number of other winter sports. What will your next adventure be?
It is easy to get frustrated with the negatives of winter — cabin fever, all the effort it takes to layer your kids up to go outside, digging your car out of snowbanks just to leave the house. Like all the seasons, winter is fleeting. Enjoy the gifts it offers us while it is present. Despite my skepticism of this frosty season, I have come to realize that there is a place for winter.