The winter blues are REAL around this time of year, even with all the excitement that comes with the holidays. When the sun tucks itself away, and the days are super short, it can sometimes feel as though we are all slipping into those monotonous daily routines.
In the instances where I am struggling to find some energy or a laugh, I always try to sit down and add to a list of things to choose from when Bryer and I are needing a bit of a pick-me-up! Involving yourself in something that brings you happiness, and in some cases even lets that inner child in you shine, is so important and worth while. For Day 3, just incase you are lacking some inspiration when it comes to your winter bucket list, here are the top 10 activities on my list for this winter!
1. Bake a homemade winter treat.
This season I am delighted at the interest that Bryer has taken in helping me cook meals and even help me with some baking that I have done in the last few months! It is something that the both of us can do together on the nights where we come home from work and want to create something yummy to chat over, and one of our goals this winter is to successfully bake a pumpkin pie together for Christmas Day! I am super excited to see how it will turn out, and even more interested in how it will taste... YUM!
Baking your favorite treats, even if it is to package them up and give them away to others afterwards, always seems therapeutic to me, and the same goes for comfort food in general. Mac and Cheese, Shepard’s Pie, etc. I encourage you to cook something up, and really pay attention to how it can lift the mood on one of those tough days! Simple and worth it.
2. Go ice skating.
Whether you have years of experience or you are getting out there for the first time, I have always felt like ice skating is a way to break the ice (hopefully not literally), loosen up, and have some fun! I personally haven’t been skating in probably over 10 years now... but they have a small rink in the commons of the city I live in, and I can’t wait to get a group of our couple friends together to go and goof off for a few hours! To me there is just something so romantic about an evening at the rink; enjoying the twinkle of the stars and the Christmas lights, and sharing a hot chocolate to warm up after!
3. Donate time or money to charity.
My parents always instilled in me as I was growing up, that no matter how “bad” I thought I had it on a bad day at school etc., that I should always be grateful for what I have because there are deserving people out in the world that are less fortunate than I. As an adult, I carry that with me always, and especially around Christmas-time, I enjoy giving back to my community and those around me who may need it this time of year.
Bryer and I have picked children’s names off of a tree and donated toys and gifts, we drop money in the Salvation Army buckets at the grocery stores, we have donated through our workplaces to Children's hospitals, and last year we got together blankets, socks and hand warmers and gave them to the homeless that live in our city. I also love to shop locally for Christmas gifts in order to give back and help build up the community in which I grew up in! I am always searching for ways to feel more connected to those around me as well as my home.
I want to stress again that no amount of giving is too little or too much. I don’t know abou you, but when I think of someone being unhappy, cold, or lonely on the holidays... it fuels me to want to do more! I hope you all will pay it forward in some way this holiday season.
4. Sit by the campfire and roast marshmallows.
If I am being honest with you all, I enjoy campfires and hot tubs much more in the Winter than I do in the Summer months. When I am hot, the last thing I want to do is sit next to more heat... but in the Winter, there is just something about the vibe of sitting in front of a fire on a dark night in the woods that makes my heart smile! Toasting marshmallows, enjoying a coffee or hot chocolate, etc. while chatting about who-knows-what, with people who are closest to me... it just sounds like a perfect end to a winter day!
5. Host a cereal party.
I mentioned Zoe Sugg yesterday when I talked about my favorite Vlogmas channel to watch on YouTube, but tonight I want to mention her book Cordially Invited. There are SO many amazing hosting tips and tricks and ideas within the book that she released last year, and I have been LOVING flipping through the pages each season to grab some new ideas for parties and get togethers. One of the things that stood out to me in the Winter section, was the cereal party! If I didn’t have to watch my figure... I would have cereal for every meal. I actually really love it. How fun would it be to pick out 10 different types of cereal, some different flavored milks, a fun variety of bowls, and have breakfast with friends on a cold winter morning? FUN!
If you haven’t checked out the book already, and you love to host, I definitely recommend it! It would also make a great gift!
6. Go on a sleigh ride.
Again, another incredibly romantic activity for you and your partner! I have never been on a legitimate sleigh ride outside in the woods, or on a busy city street, but I always envision what it would be like on a snowy evening before Christmas. I’m definitely making this one happen this year!
7. Have a Christmas movie marathon.
Self-explanatory. The fiancé, some fuzzy blankets, some snacks, and all of the favorite Christmas films; preferably a Saturday or Sunday, so that there is not a care in the world, and we can just get lost in time!
8. Complete an overnight winter hiking trip.
On the contrary to spending a cozy day indoors, one of my favorite outdoor activities is hiking, and I actually prefer doing it when it is cold out. My Uncle and I have accomplished many trips together now, and on the one hand, there is nothing more beautiful and rewarding than making it to the summit of that mountain and seeing the view of the earth covered in snow and ice. On the other hand, it almost feels like a game of survivor, where you really have to pay attention and be in tune with your body and mind in order to successfully live out in the wilderness without freezing! I dig that feeling, and hope to incorporate it more into my routine this next year!
9. Have a holiday book-a-thon.
For those of you who don’t know, I am (and always will be) a total book worm. I will leave the specifics of my book addiction out of this post and chat with you all about it later, BUT I hope to spend one day this winter with 4-5 books I have chosen, and just read through them all one after the other. It has been a while since I got lost in a good read, and I would love to feel that connection with someone else's writing and story before the year is over. Suggestions/recommendations welcome!
10. Take a ride to view local Christmas lights.
When I was growing up, there was a street in my neighborhood that was known for its amazing Christmas lights (shout out to anyone reading that is from Laconia, NH who has been down Edward Street in December). Every year we would take one night (if not multiple) to drive or walk through to see the displays, and back when I was smaller, enjoy the little “block party” they put on. It is a tradition that I have held onto, and have even brought Bryer down Edward Street since we have been together! Its so easy to jump in the car and just plan to drive aimlessly around your neighborhood to see how creative everyone gets with their decorations! I can’t wait to go this year!
I hope this gave you all some ideas for when you are stuck in a rut and need to get out and have some fun, or for when all you want to be is at home to relax and wind down a bit!