In Transition: 10 Cold Weather Rituals to Look Forward To

In Transition: 10 Cold Weather Rituals to Look Forward To

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Alysha Findley
Sep 21, 2011

As I begin closing my windows earlier each day and pulling out my sweaters at night I'm realizing that the next season is swiftly upon us. I don't know about you, but I have begun thinking about the ritual seasonal changes that are inevitably around the corner.

I grew up with seasons in New York for the first half of my life but then promptly forgot what those were when I moved out West for the second half. I haven't really had "seasons" for the past sixteen years, not in the traditional sense anyway. Living in Las Vegas and California can make you forget pretty quickly what a real winter is.

But that warm weathered ship has sailed, and I will now be heading into my second winter season in the Pacific Northwest. As excited as I am to have seasons back in my life I definitely notice a mental shift that I haven't had in a long time as I prepare for the cold, dark and rainy days ahead.

Being that I got very comfortable in year round sun and outdoor living, jumping back into a real fall/winter as an adult has been a bit of a transition. As I prepare for this shift I have decided that instead of dreading it, like it's easy to do here in Seattle, I want to focus on the exciting rituals and weather specific activities that define winter for me.

Here are a few things on my cold-weather ritual list:
Comfort Foods: It'll be nice to get back into soups, stews and crockpot meals. There's nothing like coming home to the mouthwatering smells of a nice warm meal that has been slow-cooking all day and is ready to just dig into.
Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables: It's time for squashes, gourds, apples and pears to take the stage. I see some delicious homemade pies in my future.
Cozy Down-Time: I don't know about you but when it's bright and sunny out I feel like I always have to be outside and on the go. But when it's colder and grayer I find it easier to take some time out to get all curled up with a hot beverage, a movie or a book and feel less guilty about it. I like how this time of year seems to work at a slower pace.
Winter Clothes: Bringing back winter clothes can feel like I have a new wardrobe. I'm less likely to get sick of things when I only wear them for half the year, and living in Seattle has introduced boots, coats, hats and gloves back into my life.
Winter Sports: It's time to head to the mountains and play in the snow. If skiing or snowboarding is your calling then this time of year is something that you wait for and covet while it lasts.
The Holiday Season: We go through some major Holidays during this time which can lend itself to DIY decorations and gifts.
Sitting By The Fire: If it's at a restaurant, cabin, a friend's house or your own it's nice to get all cuddly by the fire as much as you can when it's chilly outside. Just thinking of the sound of cracking wood makes me long for a cold winters night.
Saunas: During the winter months I love taking time out and going to a spa or sauna to soak up the warmth. I always look forward to it.
Winter Scents: When I think of winter I think of cinnamon, pine and apples. Those are some of the scents that send me into a cozy kinda mood.
Winter Hobbies: Cold weather hits and my yarn comes out to visit. Now I am not an avid knitter at all, but every winter I love to watch movies and make scarves and hats for people. It's just like clockwork and something I only like to do when it's chilly out. I think it's the instant gratification of being able to wear it right away.

What fall/winter rituals do you look forward to?

Image: Diane's Cozy Colorado Rockies Cabin Retreat

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