The fun and excitement of the Christmas holidays can leave both adults and children drained, and short days and winter weather can make things worse. Making sure that life has homey pleasures gives grace to those long, cold days—so while I’m doing my serious planning, I try to dream up some recreational ones as well.
Play outdoors if you can. Bundle up in your coziest winter gear and enjoy a hike in the crisp winter air or a walk on a winter beach. If you live where it’s cold, take full advantage of snow forts, snowballs, ice skating, and the like.
Take advantage of indoor entertainment. Cold or wet winter days often force families indoors, so always try to find some fun indoor places to go. This is a great time to attend a concert, play, or movie or to explore a museum.
Invite friends over for cozy hospitality. Decide who you might have over for mugs of hot chocolate and fresh chocolate chip cookies. Or plan a Frito-pie night. Cook your favorite kind of chili and combine it with small bowls of grated cheese, corn chips, sour cream, and onions, and you have a fun dinner for sitting by the fire.
Bake some bread and simmer some soup. The kitchen is a wonderful place to be on a cold day. There’s nothing like a pot of potato-cheese, vegetable, or chicken-noodle soup bubbling on the stove (or in a slow cooker) and the yeasty aroma of bread baking to lift everyone’s spirits.
Listen by the fire. Books on tape by the fireside were popular with our crew when they were younger. We especially enjoyed the radio drama versions of C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia (1950‒1956), David and Karen Mains’s Tales of the Kingdom (1983), and Ralph Moody’s Little Britches (1950). For more ideas, you can access our “Lifegiving Home Resources” page at www.lifegivinghome.com.
Create cozy play spaces with card table tents, closet hideaways, and such. Joy had a little part of my closet where we would hang a little lantern and put a basket of toys to create an indoor playhouse for her. She loved being in her special, cozy little place.
Find a way to bring outdoor games indoors. Hiding wooden painted Easter eggs all over the house provided our children with hours of play when it was too cold to go outside.
Excerpt pulled from The Lifegiving Home by Sally Clarkson.
How to make home your family’s favorite place to be . . . all year long.
Does your home sometimes feel like just a place to eat, sleep, and change clothes on the way to the next activity? Do you long for “home” to mean more than a place where you stash your stuff? Wouldn’t you love it to become a haven of warmth, rest, and joy . . . the one place where you and your family can’t wait to be?
There is good news waiting for you in the pages of The Lifegiving Home. Every day of your family’s life can be as special and important to you as it already is to God. In this unique book designed to help your family enjoy and celebrate every month of the year together, you’ll discover the secrets of a life-giving home from a mother who created one and her daughter who was raised in it: popular authors Sally and Sarah Clarkson. Together they offer a rich treasure of wise advice, spiritual principles, and practical suggestions. You’ll embark on a new path to creating special memories for your children; establishing home-building and God-centered traditions; and cultivating an environment in which your family will flourish. (Don’t miss the companion piece, The Lifegiving Home Experience.)