Spend time with the family
Of course, we homestead so we can spend as much time with our family as possible, however, in summer this time is often spent doing chores together. Winter is a great time for playing games together, reading a book to the kids, or having a date night with your partner. Some quality time where you focus on nothing but your family. You can do this at home, but you can also choose to take a small vacation or a day trip.
Cook or bake
Winter is a great time to cook or bake more elaborate meals. Not only does cooking warm the house, good food warms the soul and often creates quality family time. Just make sure you don’t overdo it, winter is also the season that you don’t move around as much, so you may end up putting some weight.
If you have sheep (like us), winter is a great time to turn the fleece into something usable. I am teaching myself to spin wool on a drop spindle, and it is going very well. Spinning doesn’t require a large investment if you start on a drop spindle. If you don’t have your own fleece, but you want to learn how to spin any way you can find a local sheep farmer or order fleece from the internet. Etsy is a great place to find fleece, and you can find great fleeces there in different colors that are all ready to spin.
Crochet or knit
After spinning you probably want to make something from the wool. If you don’t want to spin you can also find some great yarns in different places (even second-hand shops!). Knitting and crocheting keep you warm, and it keeps your hands busy. It is also quite relaxing, I often end the day and unwind by sitting on the couch and crocheting. Once you get a little more experienced you will finish awesome projects in no time, and they make great gifts!
Sewing is another activity that is great for winter time. You can either buy fabric or turn old fabric into something new! There are some great tutorials on pinterest, some with a very detailed description. If you are looking for a great project make sure you check out the egg apron I made!
Clean the house
Not my favorite chore, but necessary. Winter is a great time to do some deep cleaning. In summer I would rather be outside, so cleaning gets put on a back burner. Don’t get me wrong, I make sure the house is clean enough for us to live in, but some things may not be cleaned as well as the should. It is also a great exercise to do some deep cleaning and it keeps you warm!
Winter is also a great time for decluttering. Cleaning out closets, selling or donating clothes that you no longer use or the kids have grown out of. Sorting out toys, selling or donating the ones that aren’t used and throwing away any broken ones. You can choose to go all out and minimalize your stuff, this will also cut down on cleaning time later on!
After a long day outside in the garden and doing chores there is usually nothing I would rather do than just go to bed and sleep. I am often too tired to even read a book (I may read a page or two, and then my eyes get heavy). Winter is great to catch up on your reading, either non-fiction books for learning, or fiction books to relax. There is nothing like reading a good romance novel by the fireplace. I am reading Folks, this ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin book right now, yeah that’s not a romance, and I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in eating food.
Plan chores for the coming year
Winter is a great time to reflect on previous seasons and to plan out the next year. Planning will help you be more efficient with your time. Plan your garden, what animals you want to raise, how you can be more efficient with your time. It’s a great idea to plan bigger projects and research them, which brings me to my next point:
Research new ideas
I often have vague ideas of how I want to do something, so winter is a great time to research and learn more about different ideas. The internet makes it so easy, just tell Mister Googlepants what you want to know more about and within milliseconds thousands to millions of informative resources are at your disposal. Just make sure you don’t believe everything you read, not everyone does their research before they write something.
Browse through seed catalogs
A gardener’s favorite pastime when not gardening! Winter is great for browsing through seed catalogs (either online or offline) and selecting seeds you want to sow in the spring. It gets me all fired up for the new garden season! I go through seed catalogs at least 3 times, first just to browse and see what they have, then to pick out all the seeds I want, and then I have to go back a third time to pick out the seeds I really want because otherwise, I end up ordering way more than I can plant.
Writing is also a great activity in the winter. You can write anything, it could be a blog, a journal, a book, random thoughts, the possibilities are endless. You can write for yourself or for other people. You don’t have to publish anything if you don’t want to. I have just found that writing is a great way to help me with my thought process and come up with new ideas. It also helps put your mind at ease, if you write stuff down you don’t have to remember as much, and sometimes it feels great just to write something down to get it out of your head! You can write any way you want, with pen on paper, on a computer, on a typewriter just get the thoughts out!
Sometimes the words don’t come and writing feels more like a chore than relaxation, so instead of writing, you can also draw. Drawing is a great creative outlet, and sometimes a great way to get thoughts on paper. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be you. We’re not aiming to become a Monet or a Picasso, we are just creating an outlet. And maybe you realize you are really good at it and enjoy it and you do end up becoming a part-time artist!
Go for a walk
I really like taking walks, either by myself, with my family or just the dogs. It helps me clear my head and relax. Taking walks often gets put to a backburner during busier seasons because there is just so much to do! During the winter months I need some exercise and a reason to go outside, and taking a walk helps me do both of those!
What are some of your favorite winter activities?