This time of the year can be a whirlwind of things to do, people to see, gifts to buy, and wrap, and events from morning to evening. Most of the time, it can leave us feeling exhausted; and while I too feel the pressure to get everything done, I also realize that being on the go isn’t necessarily the best way to celebrate the holidays.

There is a special magic that occurs during December, the daylight may be a little shorter, but if we take the time to just breathe, we will notice the colors of the sunset are now soft shades of pink, there’s snow on top of the mountains, and the stars and planets will align to form the Christmas star. There is a hush, a stillness when the moon rises, and the air is crisp. The first few snowflakes that fall turn the land into powdered sugar, a fairyland even if it is just for a little while, icicles hang from corners of the roof, and birds can be seen foraging for berries, and rabbit footprints show signs of life going on even when we are sitting by a crackling fire indoors. 

Here are a few suggestions for enjoying the winter season a bit more.

Put a birdfeeder out. This time of the year can be difficult for wildlife. For warmer areas, think of putting something out for deer and squirrels, such as peanuts, dried cranberries, and a salt lick if you have the yard for it. even a large foil pan filled with seeds, nuts, and berries will attract wintering birds. If the rabbits are still out (ours are usually out hopping in the snow) put out a few sliced or grated carrots, some apples, and whatever leftover veggies you might have, mine loves cabbage as well. I play Snow White often and feed many of the animals that live on our five acres of land.

Go for a walk on a starry night. or simply step out on your patio and gaze at the wonderful world we live in. That crisp air and a view of the planets will do your soul good.

If you have pets, buy them a cozy little sweater, a blanket, or a new bed, and yes, let them sleep under the Christmas tree if they wish. Buy them a stocking with their name on it, and truly embrace them as part of the family.

Once again, if you have the room, add a heater or small fire pit to your patio, when the weather is agreeable, gather around and drink hot chocolate, make smores, or indulge in a few adult beverages, such as mulled wine, etc.

The one thing I love about Christmas is that it allows us to slow down and enjoy the spirit of giving, which is the true nature after all, and draws us closer to family and our hearts.

May this holiday season bring you peace, love, and true joy.