Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday Musings on the Creator in Me

The theme at Homeschool Blogger's Front Porch this week is "winter" -- probably my least favourite season once Christmas is over. But this year I've decided to find ways to enjoy it a bit more. It may take some creative effort, but I'm going to try -- while still choosing to rest ;)

As I've been packing up Christmas decorations, it has occurred to me that one of the ways I can prolong the sense of celebration is to continue enjoying some of the decor that I have hitherto designated "Christmasy," and thus packed up right after the holidays. Take, for example, this bowl (the whole kit-and-kaboodle purchased at a summer garage sale for $2!):

To me, the pointsettia makes it a Christmas decoration.

But if I remove the pointsettia -- the snow-tipped pine and cones make the bowl of red and gold decorations (which match our regular decor) simply wintery:

Then there are the fun dishes with just snowmen and snowflakes on them . . . why should they be stashed away when they are the epitome of this season, at least here in Canada?

I feel the need to tell you that ALL of the wintery decorations we own were acquired as gifts -- by friends and freecycle -- or purchased at yard sales or deep discount prices. One doesn't have to spend a lot of money to have pretty things :)

The same goes for the snowflake trees and lantern . . .

The snowman cookie tins . . .

And the wintery-white hand towels:

I can also continue to make special wintery treats, like these snowflake "cookies":

(From an old issue of Family Fun Magazine: White flour tortillas warmed slightly, then cut like paper snowflakes -- brushed with vegetable oil -- baked for a few minutes until crispy -- then sprinkled with icing sugar and coloured sugar. Crunchy and not too sweet:)

Another way I can try to enjoy the season fully is by finding more opportunities to chill with my children -- skating, sledding, drinking hot chocolate, and reading aloud by the fire. (By the way -- have you ever tried "Mexican Hot Chocolate" with cinnamon and cayenne pepper???? Yummmmmm! And the cayenne boosts your metabolism -- perfect for this slow time of year;) I can also get creative with my camera, and try to find great shots like this:

(Ya, probably not. Beautiful though, isn't it????)

In her book entitled, Gathering, Linda Fry Kenzle offers some other good ideas for enjoying the pleasures of winter:
* Take up knitting (or any other portable but quiet handiwork) and make scarves for everyone in your family while using the quiet time to be meditative and reflective.
* Make a quilt of simple squares with solid coloured cloth, and when visitors come, give them a permanent marker, inviting them to write a message, poem, or do a drawing on one of the squares.
* Collect garden catalogues and begin planning next year's garden.
* Drink hot apple cider mixed with cranberry juice.

A quick google search also leads to good lists of outdoor acivities, including bird watching and winter scavenger hunts, and some indoor activities for children, such as obstacle courses and art shows that we can also use to keep us happily occupied. So, I think we're set up for spending a fine few months in our winter wonderland.

How about you? What do you enjoy doing in the winter? Is it a season that you just survive, or do you thrive in it?

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