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It’s SNOWING here in Ohio today. I have to admit I’m a delighted child when it comes to the first snow of the season or, really, snow in any part of December. So exciting! But after the novelty wears off, my seasonal affective disorder usually wins out over my giddiness, and I’m likely to spend much of the next several months curling up under blankets with endless cups of tea.
Which brings me to Good Clothes. I recently read There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather by Swedish-American mom and writer Linda McGurk. Instead of bad weather, goes the old saying, there is only clothing unsuited to the weather. The Swedish, apparently, are obsessed with spending time outdoors. Children (and many adults) are outside for hours every day, even on wet and bitter days, in search of wholesome fresh air, exercise, and nature. The Swedes might take it a little far for my taste – babies are routinely left outdoors to nap, even in winter – but they have a point. There’s a ton of evidence that getting outdoors boosts energy, mood, and physical health, and don’t we all need that, especially this year?
So, I’ve lately been taking inventory: Who needs new winter boots? Who needs new rain boots? Is there a sufficient supply of waterproof gloves for snow play? How about warm socks, a good coat, and snow pants? I have to admit the Holbrooks are not naturally the most antsy or outdoorsy bunch. (See above re: cuddly blankets and warm beverages, our natural state.) All the more reason to make going outdoors every day as comfortable as possible – for grown-ups, too!
The Latest: Dinner Games
Dinner after pandemic dinner together, you may be thinking: How do we keep dinnertime togetherness fresh when no one’s left the house in days, and we are already together ALL DAY LONG?
Enter dinner games; our favorite is Phase 10. It’s a simple, fun, long-lasting card game that we can play a few hands of each night. We can still talk and eat and linger while we play, and it’s just enough novelty to root us in the moment and a new shared experience. Other options are Ghost (the word game, a car-trip favorite of ours), regular cards, and, for two, games like chess, checkers, or cribbage. I’d add Scrabble to the list but someone in my house hates it, so there you go.
Tell me what you’re doing at meals these days to keep things fresh. Any good games, topics of conversation, etc?
The Latest: Little Gifts
From what I hear, it seems like a lot of us are scaling down the traditional gift-giving this year. In my family, all adult gifts have gone by the wayside, and some big kids have graduated out of the niece and nephew gift exchange. But, especially when we’re not seeing each other, I still want to send something. I’ve become more interested in little gifts, small packages of joy in the mail. Food. Homemade ornaments. (I love these that my friend Kim made. If you’re in my family don’t click unless you like to spoil your surprises, ha!) Advent calendars. And here are 100 stocking stuffers that are not disposable garbage – maybe a few will make it into those little packages of fun, too.
Let me know how you’re celebrating this December, won’t you please? Tea and blankets optional – but, of course, highly recommended.
p.s. Right now…