Here at Toadstool Farm, Winter is our second favorite season after, you guessed it, Autumn. Mornings when you wish you could stay cuddled under your covers and just watch the snow fall. Afternoons laughing as you create an impromptu snowball fight. Evenings with hot coffee and the crackling sounds of fires in fireplaces. Its the sleeping time of year, the time when things rest and renew. The quiet before the storm of new growth and life that is Spring.
We live as closely with the seasons as our moderate climate allows, falling into rhythm with the changes each season brings us. Indulging in the unique gifts and pastimes they encourage.
Here are some of the things we do to celebrate Winter and some ways you can create a Vintage Winter in your own life.
- Learn to knit. Its not just for Grannies anymore. When the world is shut inside creating a useful, beautiful and snuggly knit item will make you feel productive and give you something to do that requires some small movement. And when the Holidays arrive, as they always do, you will have lovely handcrafted gifts to give.
- Speaking of gifts...they look so much more vintage when wrapped with kraft paper, for example, instead of commercially bought wrapping paper. And with a uniform neutral paper color you can easily add flair and individuality to each gift with your trimmings. Which leads me to trimmings of course. Instead of those foil bows, try something you get from the natural world. Small sprigs of pine or little pinecones ( lots of tree farms let you take fallen twigs or branches for free). a dab of hot glue will stick those acorns you gathered in Autumn to the wrapping paper with a fall leaf as a background. Be creative, use whatever is at hand where you live. Its free, sustainable and so much prettier in my opinion.
- Make candles. Start saving old jelly jars and the like and when you have a few use them as containers for homemade candles. Candle making supplies are easily purchased online and there are tons of tutorials out there. In fact I'll be doing one here in a future blog posts so be sure to subscribe below. When the days get shorter you'll have plenty of soft cozy candlelight to make them feel not so long and dreary.
- Start a journal. And don't just make it a journal, try a scrapbook journal. Scrapbook journals are fun because they're not only places to jot down your daily ( or weekly, whenever you feel so inspired) thoughts, they are also full of bits and pieces from your days. So...went to see The Nutcracker? Tape the ticket stub into your journal. Got a gift from someone special that came beautifully wrapped with ribbon? Glue a piece of said ribbon into your journal. You get the picture.
- Try creating your very own favorite winter hot drink. Why give all your hard earned money to the guys in the green aprons (You know who I mean)? Save a ton of money and have bragging rights to a tasty hot drink you made yourself. The ideas are endless. Chocolate eggnog. Chai Apple Cider. Hot buttered non alcoholic rum.. Here's a website with fourteen hot drink recipes to get you started. But don't stop there...add your own personalized touch by switching out one key ingredient for something else until you find your perfect mix!
- Use natural materials around your home to decorate. For example: gather fallen pinecones on your walks, and use peppermint or wintergreen or cinnamon essential oils to fragrance them. Place in bowls in strategic spots round your home to gently scent the air.
- And of course...shop vintage for your holiday gifts. Avoid the craziness of big box stores for the holidays. Gift giving doesn't have to be the fanciest new cell phone, or the biggest TV. Vintage items make absolutely wonderful gifts. Think: a gorgeous angora sweater. Or a beautiful set of 1950s table linens. An antique book for the bibliophile in your life. Make it a goal this Winter to shop small and sustainably.
What are some winter traditions in your world? And what are some things you do to bring a bit of vintage into your Winter?