Deep Winter Joy at Home

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A white double story home with a red brick chimney is enveloped in snow under a white, snowy sky exuding a feeling of shelter and deep winter joy at home.
A white double story home with a red brick chimney is enveloped in snow under a white, snowy sky exuding a feeling of shelter and deep winter joy at home.

When the trees are bare, the nights are long and the wind is whipping around the chimney, a fleeting, magical season of the year has arrived. It is deep winter and with its appearance the gift to embrace deep winter joy at home. 

Some may look at this darkest portion of the year as challenging. A time one must put up with or get through in order to make it to the bright days waiting on the other side. What if we pause and take a moment to think again? After all, deep winter arrives only once a year and with it, opportunities enticingly unique to its brief presence. 

What does deep winter gift us that is distinctive to the rest of the year? Above all, slow time. With its short days, long, dark nights and cold weather, deep winter provides the welcomed opportunity to follow nature’s example by slowing down, snuggling in and enjoying good things often lost amongst the familiar rush of the rest of the year.

Invite Hygge

Hygge, pronounced hyoo-guh, is a Danish word describing a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. Invitingly, hygge is at the heart of deep winter joy at home. Foster this cozy feeling by setting the table for weeknight family dinners with everyone seated together. Add candles to celebrate the dark night outside. As a side note, morning candlelight before the late dawn is a unique treat to enjoy during deep winter as well. 

Does your family like to play games, puzzles or cook together? Change things up and introduce a new, yet familiar, activity to your family’s evening routine. Embrace the opportunity to all work together on a project. Plan soups and stews for evening meals pulling your soup bowls towards the front of the shelves as well as mugs ready for warm milk, cocoa or chamomile tea before bed. Keep up your Christmas fairy lights through deep winter adding to the cozy magic of deep winter joy at home.

vintage black and white sketch of children sledding down a hill enjoy deep winter joy at home

Deep Winter Simplicity

With the busyness of the festive season behind us, we can now embrace the simplicity of deep winter. During the shorter light and longer darkness adopt a simpler lifestyle for yourself and your family. With simplicity you gain clarity. Fewer distractions enable you to focus more clearly on your dreams and desires for your children. It enables you to become more aware of what is most important, what may need to be dropped from your family’s routine and where you most desire to invest your family members’ energy and time. 

There is a welcomed truth to the statement – the simpler we make our lives the more abundant they become. When we create a streamlined lifestyle it invites time to enjoy simple pleasures and deep winter is filled to the icy brim with them! Recently, members of our family experienced the deep winter joys of breaking ice on puddles and ponds, the scent of wood smoke on a snowy walk, not needing to rise early to catch the sunrise at dawn, noticing the teeniest stretching of the day and bundling up after dinner to stargaze and go owling. Welcome simplicity and be rewarded with contentment and deep winter joy at home.

Read, Teach and Play

Deep winter joy at home includes taking time to read, teach and play with your children. Enjoy nature walks bundling up on a cold day that turns your breath to cotton candy. Snuggle in closely and read a book together sharing in the emotions, adventures and illustrations the story presents. Ask questions that encourage ideas and curiosity. What would you do if this happened to you? Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not?

Bring the book to life by engaging in an activity presented in the story. Did a character build a blanket fort or color a picture and send it to their grandmother? Cook together making food mentioned in the story or serve a snack featured in an illustration. These shared experiences invite magic to a deep winter’s day. The Golden Days at Home Preschool Curriculum is a rich and wonderful resource to confidently teach your young children at home with quality picture book suggestions. Each lesson plan brings an award-winning picture book to life. Spend deliberate time with your child or children teaching, creating, reading and enjoying shared experiences to not only invite a sense of well-being on a deep winter’s day but to influence a lifetime.

children baking in the kitchen together enjoying deep winter joy at home

Nature's Example

If we look at nature, it’s hibernation time. Some animals have settled into a safe space such as a deep burrow protected from predators and cold temperatures. Plants are dormant through deep winter. It is a time when nature slows down, resting up for the next growing season. 

Deep winter invites the same for us. For deep winter joy at home, create sanctuaries for your children and yourself to comfortably settle in for awhile. A sanctuary is a destination to look forward to spending quiet time, a place to truly relax and be at ease. Layer comfortable blankets and pillows to invite rest. A cozy window destination can cradle a dreamer. Provide books, magazines, paper, pencils, crayons and simple toys within reach encouraging quiet contemplation and creativity. If you have a pet that likes to snuggle, invite them to join you. The deep winter home sanctuary is a safe, secure destination to nurture souls, allowing their minds to soar.

“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.”      -Jane Austen

A New Tradition

This year and in the years to come, make a cup of tea, wrap yourself in a warm blanket and take the opportunity to look at deep winter with a new perspective. The noise of the world is hushed a little bit giving time to listen to your inward whispers. Savor this unique, annual invitation to nestle in and create cozy comforts and rituals to enjoy with your family. You may just wish it to last a little longer.

The full moon of the deep winter month of January is most commonly known as the Wolf Moon, the Celtic peoples call it The Stay at Home Moon. Just the moon to shine down upon evenings of deep winter joy at home.

Written by Janet Nicole Meyer for Golden Days at Home.

Childhood Gem written in black in on a white background with a gold star to the left.

A cold, deep winter’s day becomes a baking day. Invite your children to help make this child-friendly recipe for fresh  Deep Winter Scones. Create a successful and rewarding experience for your children by having them participate in age-appropriate steps in the preparation. When the scones are warm out of the oven, gather by the fire and enjoy with a glass of milk or tea for a cozy winter’s snack.

A preschool child's snack of a scone and milk is set on a beige and white checkered tablecloth with berries, a puzzle and picture book.
Janet Nicole Meyer

Janet Nicole Meyer

The founder and author of Golden Days at Home preschool curriculum savors all opportunities to play and travel with her now grown children. She and her husband hike, bike and enjoy living on a stream in Boulder, Colorado with their elderly English Mastiff, Roxy.

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