How to Survive the Winter Months Happily


I am not a big fan of winter. I’m cold pretty much all the time, even in the summer months. Early darkness just makes me want to go to sleep. I’d rather be wrapped up in ¬†a blanket, in front of the fire, with a book or some knitting or both, for about four months of the year.

But that’s not possible, so I have to do what I can to get through, as we all do. I’ve decided this is the year I’m not going to complain (much) about winter, I’m just going to do all I can to make it better. Here’s my plan for how to survive the winter. This winter survival guide will help you get through the chilly months happily.

Make Your House Cozy

The first thing I’m thinking about — and working on this week — is doing things that will make the house feel cozier. We’re about to be spending a lot of time indoors, and I want spaces that are clean, clear, clutter-free (to the extent possible) and cozy.

cozy blankets make winter a little nicer.
This giant knit blanket is already making the cold months more bearable.

For me cozy means lots of blankets and books. Puzzles and games. Easily accessible art supplies and lots of baking. And, yes, using the fireplace. As much as my much warmer-natured family members can stand.

Make Yourself Cozy

I don’t want to feel cold. I don’t like it, and lately my hands have been getting so cold that it’s painful.

So this year I’m not apologizing for layering up, wearing fingerless mitts all the time, drinking all the tea in the house, making soup on a weekly basis and living in my fuzzy warm slippers.

I shouldn’t even have to mention that; doing what you have to do to be warm seems totally natural. Yet I suffer being cold all the time because everyone else in the family is not as cold. But I can still layer like nobody’s business. In handknits, no less.

Embrace the Season

winter crafting
I’m working on some crafts I don’t normally do to make the long evenings more fun.

People who live in the far northern regions of Europe — which have much longer, darker and more serious winters than the American south by far — have much lower rates of depression than you might expect. Part of the reason is that they embrace winter as a time when they can engage in sports they enjoy and enjoy the beauty of winter scenes.

As a knitter I think of Arne & Carlos, a pair of knitters from Norway and Sweden who produce these books that are just gorgeous, riots of color and collections and that winter beauty that people from that part of the world embody.

These books are a literal interpretation of the term koselig, a Norwegian term that means something like cozy, warm, happy and content. It’s winter sweaters, having friends over even when it’s cold and dark, lighting the candles, having a sauna, continuing to do things you enjoy and live with the season rather than trying to fight it.

So this is the year I try to bring a little more koselig into my life. At least I have the right hobby for it.

Do you feel like winter is something to be endured or do you enjoy it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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3 Comments

  1. Brinn

    Thank you for this post! Cold winters in the northeast have always been dreadful for me. I grew up on the gulf coast of Texas. Many years we were enjoying the beach on Christmas! I’m trying to learn ways to make Winter more enjoyable.

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