When the days grow shorter and the nights stretch long into tomorrow, it is the perfect time to get cozy and enJoy over 60 ways to savor the winter season with family.
Winter means candlelight, comfy blankets, and something warm and comforting on the stove or in the oven. Savoring winter with family means snuggling up for a family movie night or read-aloud, baking bread to share with a friend or neighbor, having tea parties, and hot chocolate, or throwing snowballs and building snowmen together outside. Whatever the activity, savoring winter with family means connecting and being cozy together.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
60 Ideas to Savor the Winter Season with Family
- Pull out the card table and put a puzzle together.
- Have a game night (board, card, video, Wii, etc.)
- Bake cookies or Christmas candy and hand them out to neighbors, family, and friends.
- Put together a family scrapbook or picture album. We do a family album on Shutterfly every year. It is a way to show the family that you value your time together, plus the children love looking through the albums and remembering all the fun times together.
- Pray and Prophesy over each other for the new year and then review each year’s words to see how much you have grown(you can do this any time of year).
- Make homemade Valentine’s cards.
- Send a real, handwritten note letting someone know you care.
- Celebrate the Winter Solstice (the shortest day of the year): Make homemade marshmallows and dunk them in hot chocolate or roast them over a fire on the first day of winter. Light a candle representing being a light in the darkness.
- Celebrate a special occasion by releasing Chinese lanterns into the night sky.
- Create a cozy hot chocolate bar off the kitchen with all the fix-ins to welcome guests with a cup of cozy.
- Bake Homemade Cinnamon Rolls, a spice cake like Christmas Dumpling or Gingerbread cake (double the recipe so you can share). Enjoy the smell of it baking and take one to a neighbor.
- Put out treats for the birds (like a feeder, homemade bird seed ornaments, or peanut butter pinecones) and see how many birds you can attract and identify. Get a bird field guide for your area and a nature journal and encourage your children to connect to nature.
- Go roller or ice skating together. Many local rinks host family skate times.
- Cut down a Christmas tree at a real tree farm and breathe in the fresh pine air.
- Layer couches, chairs, and beds with cozy blankets and pillows, perfect for an afternoon snuggle, movie, or read-aloud.
- Bake sheets of homemade gingerbread or purchase several gingerbread house kits. Gather bowls of different kinds of candies, cookies, cereals, and bags of colored frosting and host a gingerbread house contest.
- Go on a local house tour around the holidays and see how others decorate their homes.
- Visit a local historical home, botanical garden, or area lights display and enjoy the holiday festivities.
- Attend your town’s tree lighting ceremony.
- Give each other foot soaks and foot rubs. Use a peppermint foot soak, peppermint foot scrub, and soothing peppermint foot cream.
- Buy new pajamas for the whole family.
- Take a fun family Christmas photo and send out a family update to all your friends and family.
- Purchase a family Christmas ornament commemorating an important event of that year.
- Paint a picture and capture your favorite winter memories on canvas.
- Snuggle up for a movie marathon on a cold or snowy weekend. Add a bowl of Popcorn with a Pop and make it extra cozy.
- Go on a listening walk and see how many sounds you hear. You will be amazed at how many sounds you don’t actually hear unless you are really listening.
- Catch snowflakes on your tongue or make snow cones with Citrus and Pine Winter Shrub or Summer Sunshine Shrub. Use only the fresh white snow.
- Go snow skiing or sledding.
- Build a blanket fort.
- Bundle up and take an evening walk and search for the North Star.
- Celebrate Advent and count down the days until Christmas. Jacquie Lawson’s advents are a favorite of ours.
- Walk through the snow and listen to nothing but the crunch beneath your feet.
- Make a wintery wreath or table centerpiece with cut greens from your yard to display in your home and bring the outdoors in.
- Collect pinecones and make your own pinecone fire starters and deliver them as gifts to others along with a bundle of wood.
- Home spa day with the girls.
- Enjoy a winter tea party with scones, lemon curd, and tea sandwiches.
- Build your own pizza, potato, salad bar, or fondue night with friends- everyone brings a topping or something to dip.
- Progressive dinner- With a group of family friends, go from house to house enjoying a different part of the meal at each home: appetizers, soup and salad, main course, and dessert.
- Celebrate a new culture night with music and a special food from that country. For example, for Chinese New Year, have an all-hands-on-deck dumpling-making party. Dumplings represent good fortune and a prosperous future. They are fun to make with a variety of fillings. You can also do this with ravioli, samosas, empanadas, piroshki’s, etc. for a different cultural experience.
- Shape buttermilk pancakes into fun Santa, reindeer, or snowman shapes to celebrate the holiday.
- Ladle out cups of homemade soup and freshly baked bread slathered in butter.
- Build a snowman or snow fort.
- Start a snowball fight. If there is no snow where you live, have an indoor snowball fight with indoor snowballs.
- Have a talent show or lip sync night and show off everyone’s individuality.
- Make homemade Scentsational Playdough in scents like peppermint, pine, or orange.
- Craft homemade ornaments with the children and hang them on the Christmas tree.
- Knit, sew a quilt, felt, needlepoint, or crochet, and if you don’t know how, learn together.
- Serve in a soup kitchen or volunteer to hand out food to the homeless.
- Be a secret Santa and give anonymously to someone who can’t give back.
- Host a carol sing with real candles ending with Silent Night.
- Line your driveway with luminaries on the Winter Solstice or on Christmas Eve to welcome in Christmas.
- Repurpose/redesign/re-love an old piece of furniture together for the home, to sell or give away.
- Attend an online or local class and learn something you have always wanted to learn.
- Take dance lessons with your sweetheart. If money is tight, buy a DVD and learn in the comfort of your own living room. We have LOVED Date Night: Living Room Dancing DVD
- Relax in a candlelight bath using homemade bath salts.
- Read poetry by the fire or at the dinner table.
- Do a vision board for the new year (individual or family).
- Host a DIY class with a group of friends and share a skill, trade, or recipe with others.
- Count down the New Year with a time-stamped balloon pop each hour and then toast at midnight.
- Invite a new person or family over for a meal and get to know them. Teach your children to ask good, thoughtful questions. (This will encourage them to become more comfortable with people of all ages, as well as improve their conversational skills. It will also get them outside themselves by learning to love others in the context of hospitality.)
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Check out these posts to learn more about how to savor each season:
- 30 Ways to EnJOY the Springtime with Family
- 50 Ways to Savor the Summer Season with Family
- 55 Ways to Get Cozy and EnJOY Autumn with Family
In everything you do -eat, play, and, love- may it always be Seasoned with Joy!